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Florida Panthers Steal Vladimir Tarasenko From Senators



Vladimir Tarasenko, pictured here against the Detroit Red Wings in December, will make his debut with the Florida Panthers tonight following Wednesday’s trade. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Just when people around the hockey world thought the Florida Panthers could not get any more dominant, Vladimir Tarasenko joined the fold in a blockbuster trade on Wednesday afternoon.

Only the Panthers paid a low-rent price to get the big deal done.

Florida only gave up a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick — which would turn into a second third-rounder if it wins the Stanley Cup — to land one of the most coveted snipers on the market at the NHL Trade Deadline.

Ottawa even withheld 50 percent of Tarasenko’s $5 million salary cap hit, which allows general manager Bill Zito and the Panthers to make more moves before Friday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

Tarasenko held all of the leverage in negotiations with the Senators due to the full no-trade clause in the one-year contract he signed with Ottawa last summer.

The Panthers were at the top of his list partly because of his family living in Fort Lauderdale, where the team had just opened its new practice facility.

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And going to Florida also gives him a chance to win his second Stanley Cup.

Tarasenko offers a lot in trying to achieve that goal. 

This season, Tarasenko has 17 goals and 41 points in 57 games.

He is on pace to score at least 20 goals for the seventh time in his past eight healthy seasons, and he has 41 goals in 90 playoff games to boot.

Tarasenko is a bonafide offensive threat who possesses one of the most dangerous wrist shots in the league, adding yet another layer to one of the deepest forward groups in the NHL.

And Florida got him, basically, for peanuts.

The Panthers found themselves in a similar spot with a star player whose lone desired trade deadline destination was in South Florida two years ago.

Claude Giroux wanted to be a Panther at the 2022 deadline after a 15-year stint with the Philadelphia Flyers. The cost for Giroux included a 2025 first-round draft pick and Owen Tippett, who has become a solid player in his own right in Philly.

Giroux had one more goal and one more point than Tarasenko does now in the same number of games at the time he was traded.

Zito got this deal done without giving up the 2026 first-round pick or any of the prospects he has left in his back pocket.

The Panthers had leverage, and Zito got the deal done quickly.

And now, all of a sudden, the Panthers are even more dangerous on paper than before.



  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Season Series — At Florida: Flyers 2, Panthers 1 (Feb 6); Thursday. At Philadelphia: March 24.  
  • Last Season: Philadelphia won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Philadelphia leads 57-37-6, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Calgary, 4 p.m.

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