What’s the right price for the Rangers to get Tarasenko?

Tarasenko (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

The Rangers are in a bit of a weird spot 30 games into the season. They have had some really high highs, and some extremely low lows. With a stretch of games against the likes of Vegas, Anaheim, Toronto, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Colorado coming up, we will see what this team is really made of.

Many believe that the Rangers will again be sellers at or even before the deadline (check out my previous posts), but some feel Gorton and the NYR can make moves that could beef up the roster now rather than acquiring just picks and prospects. Doug Armstrong of the St.Louis Blues is somebody that Gorton might want to pick up the phone and contact.

The St. Louis Blues are currently in a spot nobody expected them to be in. After a summer of acquiring Ryan O’Reilly from the Sabers, and signing Tyler Bozak, many believed the Blues were a serious contender. After a stretch of successful regular seasons and playoff appearances, the Blues made those big moves to try and catapult them over the top; the Blues currently sit in the cellar in terms of points amongst the entire league.

Now nearly 30 games into the season, they have fired Mike Yeo, giving up on plays during games, and are having fights amongst themselves in practice (Bortuzzo and Sanford dropped the gloves in practice on December 10th).

Buzz is growing that the Blues may start a fire sale. There are some names that Gorton and the Rangers should be interested in starting with, what should have been a Rangers draft pick, goal scoring machine, Vladimir Tarasenko.

McIlrath (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In the 2010 draft, the Rangers passed on Tarasenko and took Dylan McIlrath (pains me to even write this) with the 10th overall pick. The Rangers now have a chance to get their hands on the once missed draft pick. As mentioned before, the Blues are likely open for business with the exception of ROR and Bozak. The question is what would the price be for the 26-year-old Russian sniper?

Tarasenko is having a “bad year” according to some. He currently has 20 points in 28 games; 9 of the 20 points being goals. This puts him on pace for a near 60 point season…..not bad for a “bad year”. Tarasenko is known for his goal scoring ability being that he has eclipsed the 30 goal mark the last four seasons; one in which was a 40-goal year. As a Rangers fan, these are numbers you have not seen since the days Jagr was skating on Broadway.

Tarasenko carries a very friendly contract that has four years remaining (after this one) carrying an AAV of only $7.5 million….so what would it cost to acquire him? I took a lot at some trades in the recent past in which a pure goal scorer was traded in his middle to upper 20s and the pieces that were necessary to acquire them. It seems like the Blues are in some sort of rebuild/retool now so I do not think rentals such as Kevin Hayes or MatsZuccarello would be players of interest for them, unless somehow they got Hayes to agree to sign an extension there with them pre-trade.

One of the trades I looked at was one that happened right here in our backyard. In July of 2012, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded captain, and former number 1 overall pick Rick Nash to the Blueshirts in exchange for Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon, and a first round pick in the 2013 draft (drafted forward Kerby Rychel).

Another trade that comes to mind was the trade that sent Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The trade was Phil Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and a second-round pick in the 2016 draft for defenseman Scott Harrington, Kasperi Kapanen  Nick Spaling, a first round pick (used in a package to acquire Frederik Andersen) and a third round pick in the 2016 draft. Toronto also retained $1.25 million per year of Kessel’s salary.

I am not saying which teams I thought won each of those deals (Rangers and Toronto respectively if you want me too), I am just using them as deals that can assimilate a move for Tarasenko. I believe that if the Rangers were to make a run at Tarasenko it would cost them something along the lines of Hayes, Howden or Lias, a prospect not named Kravstov, Miller or Lundkvist (so maybe Joey Keane?), and a first round pick.

To me, I would not do this because while Tarasenko is on a friendly deal, he is 26 years old. I would not want to give up our first round pick because it is one that can be extremely valuable. There is not much I would not trade for a guy like Tarasenko, but that is way too much for a rebuilding team (yes we are still rebuilding) to give up. If there were any way to hold onto that pick then I would pull the trigger.

SideNote: A trade that I would do immediately is something with the Jets. One that looks like:

To Winnipeg: Hayes, Zucc, Shattenkirk with 20% salary retained, Tampa conditional 2ndround pick

To NYR: Jacob Trouba, Kristian Vesalainen