Vladimir Tarasenko and the current Rangers salary cap

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Mar 2, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) scores a goal past Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot (33) as defenseman Nick Holden (5) defends during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vladimir Tarasenko has switched his representation again as he remains unsigned nearly a week since free agency began. Having moved on from Mike Liut (Octagon) to Paul Theofanous last season, he’s now represented by Pat Brisson and JP Barry of CCA Sports.

According to multiple reports, Tarasenko had several offers on the table, but didn’t appear too content with what was out there. Apparently, he had a few offers for less than his previous AAV of $7.5 million

So now with the change, his agents will be taking all conversations back to square one and will reach out to all 32 teams.

“We’ve had conversations with Vladdy and his wife, Yana,” Brisson told ESPN. “This isn’t something we’re rushing into. We’re making sure that we’re educating ourselves and them. We’re going to hopefully make a decision in the near future.”

Vladimir Tarasenko and Rangers cap

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tarasenko, 31, registered 50 points in 69 games last season. The big right wing notched 21 of those points in 31 matches with the Blueshirts and added 3 goals and 4 points in 7 playoff contests.

When the Rangers acquired him from the St. Louis Blues along with Niko Mikkola weeks before the NHL Trade Deadline, he seemed a perfect fit and scored in his first game. He was also extremely complimentary of the organization and expressed a desire to return on breakup day.

“Yeah, I enjoyed being here,” Tarasenko responded to a question about staying with the club. “It’s one of the top organizations in the league, if not the best. They do everything for players.”

While Vlad was open about wanting to return, the flat salary cap that only went up by $1 million this summer limited what the Rangers could do. Throw in the fact that they need to re-sign two key RFA’s in Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller, it led to a handful of free agents signings for players under $1 million.

As per PuckPedia, the Rangers have $6.9 million in cap space remaining. The assumption is such that new deals for Laffy and Key will amount to around $6 million. That will leave under a million for call-ups during the season.

So is there a way to bring back Tarasenko and solidify the top-nine right side? The answer is yes, but fairly unlikely.

First off, the Rangers would have to trade Barclay Goodrow and the entirety of his $3.641 million cap hit for the next four seasons. Then Tarasenko would have to be willing to accept a one-year deal with a base of $3.5 million and performance bonuses.

Considering he had several offers around $6 million that he rejected, it would be hard to see this scenario play out. However, with the NHL salary landscape being the mess it is and the cap ceiling to jump by at least $4 million next year, never say never.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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