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NHL Trade Deadline: Tarasenko and Florida Panthers a Fit?

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Tarasenko trade
Ottawa’s Vladimir Tarasenko, left, tries to keep Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky from going after Brady Tkachuk last month in Sunrise. // Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

The Florida Panthers have been linked to Calgary defenseman Noah Hanifin by NHL Insiders as the Trade Deadline quickly approaches, but Ottawa forward Vladimir Tarasenko may be an easier get for Bill Zito & Co.

Tarasenko, 32, has a full no-trade clause in the one-year deal he signed with the Senators after not getting the long-term deal the 2019 Stanley Cup champion wanted during the offseason.

There is little doubt Tarasenko will be traded.

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He was brought to Ottawa on that short-term deal with the thought that he would help the Senators climb into the playoffs — and if that did not happen, he would be traded somewhere he wanted to go.

With Ottawa long out of the postseason hunt, Tarasenko will have no shortage of suitors.

But, due to the NTC, he has a huge say in where he will end up to end this season.

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According to a report by Bruce Garrioch in the Ottawa Sun, word from the Senators is that Tarasenko prefers to be traded to the NHL-leading Panthers.

Florida has been in a situation where a high-profile player has told his current team he wanted to go to the Panthers.

In 2022, Claude Giroux told Philadelphia he would only waive his NMC to Florida; that summer, Matthew Tkachuk told Calgary he would go to Florida, Carolina or to his hometown St. Louis Blues.

When it comes to acquiring Tarasenko, Garrioch reports Ottawa is asking for a second-round pick — Florida does not have one this summer, but could give up the 2025 selection — and a prospect.

The Panthers have over $5 million in cap space now, so they would be able to fit in Tarasenko’s $5 million cap hit. Ottawa may retain some salary to allow Florida to make additional moves.

Tarasenko, whose family make their home in South Florida, would also like a contract extension.

Which is where we come into the fit.

Tarasenko is a left-handed shot, but only plays the right side.

Florida is pretty set on the right side of their top-6 with Sam Reinhart and Tkachuk — although both have played on the left flanks in the past.

Just for fun, if the Panthers were to bring in Tarasenko, he would more than likely slot into the top power play unit; if Reinhart or Tkachuk slid to the left, Tarasenko would go on the right side of that line.

If Florida decided to keep things as is, it could move Evan Rodrigues off the right side of its third line and either move him back to the top-6 or slide him down to the fourth line.

Tarasenko was traded from the Blues to the Rangers at the Deadline last year and had three goals with an assist in New York’s first-round loss which cost coach Gerard Gallant his job.

Through 57 games with the Senators this year, Tarasenko has 17 goals with 41 points in 57 games.

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ NEW JERSEY DEVILS

  • When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Prudential Center, Newark
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM 2;WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Local Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-190); Puck line (-1.5, +120); Over/Under 6.5 (+100/-125)
  • Season Series (Tied 1-1) — At New Jersey: Panthers 4, Devils 3 (October 16)Tuesday. At Florida: Devils 4, Panthers 1 (Jan. 13).
  • Last Season: Florida won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Devils lead 58-36-7, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

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