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Tag: Vladimir Tarasenko

It’s Unrealistic, But Tarasenko Addition Could Be The Difference VGK Needs To Become Back-To-Back Champs

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

In order to win back-to-back Stanley Cups, the Golden Knights will need a lot to go right and receive contributions from their entire roster, like what occurred in the 2022-23 season. If we’re being honest, not many predicted Chandler Stephenson to land on 49 helpers, and nobody expected 16 goals from William Carrier and Michael Amadio. We could keep going. Consider this, Nic Roy, Phil Kessel, Paul Cotter, Keegan Kolesar, Pavel Dorofeyev, and Brett Howden combined for a total of 62 regular season goals. It was the complete opposite of what the Golden Knights got back in the 2021-22 season. Looking back, the production from depth players was one of the reasons Vegas was the last NHL team standing.

So, will relying on the returning cast of offensive characters be enough in 2023-24?

It’s no secret that one of the league’s most dangerous snipers over the past ten years is still without a contract. To NHL standards, Vladimir Tarasenko is considered long in the tooth but still a valuable commodity for any team in need of offense. At this moment, the 16th overall pick in 2010 is mulling, listening, and seeking the best deal for him and his family. Most teams, including the Golden Knights, would love Tarasenko’s services but only a handful can fit him in their salary cap plans for next season.

It’s been reported that the 31-year-old is seeking an annual salary of $7M or more. The majority of NHL teams have nowhere near that much cap space, most notably the Golden Knights. Tarasenko silently stuck to his guns by turning down several offers close to his price point, including one with the Carolina Hurricanes. While he could still end up in Raleigh, the career 270 goal-scorer hasn’t given up on his desired compensation. Which leads us to Vegas.

With little to no wiggle room, it would be unlikely the Golden Knights could agree to terms with Tarasenko and his new agents. Remember, Vegas was rumored to be a possible suitor for the Russian native at the trade deadline so there was interest back in March.

It’s hard mentally a little bit to change things. For me, I like old stuff. I use old equipment for many, many years. I cannot switch. But I’m happy for a new challenge. -Vladimir Tarasenko

Tarasenko to Vegas does actually make some sense, assuming his price comes way down. His new agents have worked plenty of deals with the Golden Knights (and Vegas drafted one of their sons). Also, Tarasenko would be reunited with former Blues teammates Alex Pietrangelo and Ivan Barbashev. Based off his words, being comfortable and quick adjustment might be enough to convince the All-Star winger to consider Vegas. Finally, there’s the most obvious reason, the Golden Knights are the reigning champions. If a player is looking for a place that will give him a chance to win, there’s no better place than Vegas right now.

Now, let’s step out of Xanadu for a minute. Vegas has already moved cap space in order to keep Barbashev and Adin Hill. Eliminating more money would be difficult without touching the Cup-winning core. Without taking a significant discount, convincing Tarasenko to forgo more money in order to make another cup run seems unrealistic. Golden Knights fans would love to see Vladdy light the lamp in Las Vegas but it’s an impulse purchase their favorite team doesn’t necessarily need. Heck, if Vegas’ depth scorers continue to produce, the 2023 Stanley Cup champions will be in a position to repeat.

It’s good to be a Golden Knights fan right now.

Vegas Has Safer Options Than Hall Of Fame Playmaker

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Now that the trade season is underway the Golden Knights find themselves in a position to buy at the deadline. On Thursday, one of Vegas’ potential targets Vladimir Tarasenko came off the board in a deal with the New York Rangers. With 18 days remaining before the March 3rd deadline, the local team will move on and begin planning for the next marquee name. Could it be Sharks winger Timo Meier, Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly, Flyers wing James Van Riemsdyk or three-time Stanley Cup winner Patrick Kane?  A move for any would dramatically help Vegas’ inconsistent offense. But there should be a ‘buyer’s beware’ mentality when discussing a deal for Kane. Sometimes, it’s best to look elsewhere.

It’s all health related. There’s an undercurrent of buzz around Patrick Kane, teams of interest, that worry about his health. We know that he missed some time not that long ago with that hip issue. Those things don’t magically disappear. I think that’s been something lingering with Patrick Kane perhaps in other seasons. What’s his health going to be like? If he aggravates that between now and March 3rd, are we 100% sure that he’s on the trade market?  –Darren Dreger on TSN 1050 Toronto

If the Golden Knights were to acquire Patrick Kane, it’ll be a sign The Creator is once again all in. The Golden Knights owner loves superstars. However, in Kane’s case, it could be wiser to pass on the limping playmaker. It’s tough for many to gauge what the cost for Kane would be, or if he’s even a trade option. There’s no doubt the three-time champ would improve the Golden Knights’ chances at winning their first Stanley Cup. The question is, how much will his new team get out of Kane? He’s missed time this season and Sportsnet speculated Kane may need surgery in the near future.

There’s been a rumor that Pat Kane has been dealing with something. Some kind of nagging injury for some period of time. At some point he’s going to need a clean-up. I don’t know exactly what the procedure would be. –Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

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Luca Sbisa: Superstar Shadow

The antidote. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It’s common in the NFL. Dez Bryant vs. Josh Norman, Julio Jones vs. Patrick Peterson, or Larry Fitzgerald vs. Richard Sherman. Top wide receiver vs. shut down cornerback.

Often times in the NHL teams have their defensive stalwarts, but not always are they asked to do what top cornerbacks in the NFL are expected to do. Here in Vegas, the Golden Knights have that, his name is Luca Sbisa, but we can’t go with the football term, so we’re dubbing him the “superstar shadow.”

Coach was pretty much saying every time he’s on the ice you’ve got to be out there. Wherever he lines up on the draw, make sure you are next to him. -Luca Sbisa

That was what Sbisa had to say about Vladamir Tarasenko, but he’s been doing it for a few games now. Look at his TOI numbers against the opposition’s scoring superstar the last three games.

OpponentTotal TOIPlayer ShadowedTOI vs. Shadow
St. Louis18:48Vladamir Tarasenko12:46
Buffalo21:00Evander Kane15:43
Boston19:07Brad Marchand13:33

That’s one of his roles. He plays against the top lines a lot and against the top players. That’s a role that he likes and he’s done a pretty good job of it. -Gerard Gallant

At even strength against those three top players, while Sbisa is on the ice, the Golden Knights have allowed just one goal in three games. Think about that for a second. 25 minutes and 51 seconds against Vladimir Tarasenko, Evander Kane, and Brad Marchand, and Luca Sbisa has held them to ONE even strength goal. That, is a recipe for success.

Next up is Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks. Normally this should give the Golden Knights nightmares, but with Luca Sbisa: Superstar Shadow on our side, Gerard Gallant and VGK fans can rest easy and start dreaming of a 7-1 start.

Vegas Needs a #91

In the last episode of Puck Daddy’s Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast (must listen radio) the guys answered emails as they normally do. One email question that stood out was “What player wearing #91 is the best the NHL?”

You first think, Hmm well that’s easy Steven Stamkos is #91, he’s the best. Then you remember oh shnikes, John Tavares wears #91 maybe he’s the best. Oh but wait, Tyler Seguin also dons #91… Wow what a question! And after all the stress of trying to rank these superstars you remember one more. Vladimir Tarasenko. Good luck ranking those four.

Let’s face it players that wear #91 are studs. Okay not all of them, sorry Oleg Saprykin. However most are successful, and it made me realize that Las Vegas needs a #91. It’s not your traditional superstar number, but nothing about Las Vegas is traditional. Automatically having a #91 on the team could fear opposing goaltenders. Plus it’s only eight away from Gretzky’s number which no one can wear.

Yeah sure I might be stretching, but #91 isn’t a new number, the great Sergei Fedorov wore it during his Hall of Fame career, as did Alex Daigle, Scotty Gomez, Kris Draper and Brad Richards. Any of those #91’s would work too.

I know I’m in Camelot here but fantasize with me for one more second. If Las Vegas does have a #91 on their team, maybe that means that The Creator made a deal. A blockbuster move to get Las Vegas Captain #91 Steven Stamkos… Just call me Mother Goose.

BTW for me it goes: 1. Stamkos 2. Seguin 3. Tarasenko 4. Tavares

NHL Players Unfairly Choose Which Expansion City They’d Rather Play In

Our friends at NHLNordiques.com recently wrote a fine piece highlighting The National Post asking NHL’ers about expansion. I got to give it to NHL players, most pay attention to league news. So when asked what city they would rather play in (video at the bottom of this post), players seemed to favor Quebec. However, looking deeper I found some fuzzy math with their methodology. Most of the players asked were Canadian, and one of the Americans asked James van Riemsdyk, plays for the Maple Leafs.

Let’s try and break this down a little more fairly.

Van Reimsdyk is basically forced to say Quebec or the whole country will hate him. Also if you notice, Van Reimsdyk says “so I guess I’ll go with that one” not a huge endorsement for Quebec. So I’m gonna call it a wash. No goalLV 0 QC 0

Next Steven Stamkos chose Quebec over Vegas but Stevie S. has good reasons. Stamkos played Pee Wee hockey in Quebec. Anyone who played Pee Wee’s will never forget those days. Pee Wee’s in America is when checking is introduced, probably earlier in Canada. I’m convinced Canadians were born knowing how to hit. You never forget playing youth hockey and apparently Stamkos doesn’t either. Goal. LV 0 QC 1

I’m nauseous after watching Leafs Dion Phaneuf play both sides like a cheap suited politician. It’s fairly obvious that Dion is well trained by his smoking hot wife‘s PR team because he barely gave an answer. He said it would be great for both cities. Yeah we know that Mr. Cuthbert, give us a real bleeping answer! Phaneuf’s answer is so diplomatic that it doesn’t cross the goal line. No goal. 0 LV 1 QC

Okay now things get real. Nashville’s Roman Josi is neither American nor Canadian, so his answer might be the purest. When asked Josi quickly blurted out Las Vegas while wearing a huge smirk. You hear a follow up question “any reason for that?” which the Swede shakes his head and laughs. It was one of those secretive, ‘I had the best time of my life in Vegas but I can’t tell you why’ type grin. You can’t buy a grin like that in Quebec. And even our friends at NHLNordiques.com would admit it. I heard Swedes like to party and Josi doesn’t look like he’s missing the net on the Strip. Goal. 1 LV 1 QC

Next is Patrice Bergeron, the one Bruin everyone can like. However, he’s from Quebec, played their growing up so… See above Steven Stamkos. Goal. 1 LV 2 QC

Here we go, now things get interesting. The Russian Vladimir Tarasenko was up next and he was wearing the same smirk as Josi. This time however when asked he blurted out Quebec and started laughing. Vladimir gave the same secretive laugh and grin as Jossi, meaning only one thing. Tarasenko also had the time of his life on the Strip but can’t tell anyone about it. I believe Tarasenko smartly chose Quebec because he couldn’t handle the Vegas. It’s an understandable reason to pick Quebec, I might not like it but… Red light. Goal. 1 LV 3 QC

Meet Joe Pavelski, the American Dion Phaneuf. The Sharks Captains answer was so wishy washy, that Hillary Clinton may hire Pavelski. I know, I’m horrible at humor. Same reasons as Phaneuf. No goal1 LV 3 QC

Lastly we have Dallas Stars Center Tyler Seguin. I thought this was an easy one based off Tyler’s reported partying. Seguin was outed by the pathetic Bruins smear campaign as an avid booze and skirt chaser. Hmmm, that kinda sounds like Las Vegas. However, knowing that his reputation was on the line, Sequin cleaned up his act in Dallas. Tyler smartly toed the party line on the question. Leaving Las Vegas empty on a last minute 6-on-5. No goal. 1 LV 3 QC

Final: Las Vegas – 1  vs. Quebec – 3

I love that The National Post asked players this question and hope they continue to do it throughout the league. Considering the partying some LA King players have done in the past, and the players that show up at the award show I think Las Vegas might get more votes. If you take out Stamkos and Bergeron, this was a much closer contest. In fact Josi and Tarasenko’s answers are the most credible which means we should be heading into 3-on-3 overtime.

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