NHL Rumor Mill – October 23, 2021
THE ATHLETIC: In his recent season predictions for the St. Louis Blues, Jeremy Rutherford expects Vladimir Tarasenko will spend the entire season with the club. The 29-year-old right winger sought a trade during the offseason due to his unhappiness over two shoulder surgeries performed by team doctors and his subsequent treatment by their medical staff.
Rutherford questioned whether the Blues would trade Tarasenko if he got off to a great start. That could result in general manager Doug Armstrong getting some legitimate offers, but moving him could also affect the production of linemate Robert Thomas.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko’s performance will be a factor, but his $7.5 million annual average value ($9.5 million in actual salary for this season) through 2022-23 is another reason why he probably won’t be moved this season.
A Tarasenko trade (if it happens) takes place next summer. That’s when there will be teams with more cap space and a willingness to invest in an established scoring winger with just one season left on his contract at a lower actual salary.
Rutherford also predicted Armstrong could bring in a goaltender from outside their organization. He doesn’t see how they get through an 82-game season with the current tandem of Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso without any injuries or a slip in performance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Something to keep an eye on as the season progresses. There’s no need to make that move right now.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis yesterday observed scouts/representatives from 15 different NHL clubs attended Thursday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks at the United Center. “Anaheim, Arizona, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, Nashville, N.Y. Islanders, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tampa Bay (2) and Winnipeg.” Center Dylan Strome, the subject of recent trade speculation, played his first game of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of those clubs were there simply to scout the performances of both clubs for upcoming games. The Blackhawks face the Coyotes, Flames, Predators, Islanders, Penguins, Kraken, and Jets in the coming weeks. The Canucks will soon face off with the Kraken, Predators, Ducks, Jets and Canadiens. Still. some were probably checking out Strome.