Report: Bruins among teams that’ve shown interest in Vladimir Tarasenko

Report: Bruins among teams that’ve shown interest in Vladimir Tarasenko originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins need additional scoring depth, preferably in the form of a middle-six winger. Could Vladimir Tarasenko be a realistic option for B’s general manager Don Sweeney ahead of Friday’s 3 p.m. ET NHL trade deadline?

Tarasenko signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Ottawa Senators last offseason. He has tallied 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 57 games this season. He scored 34 goals with the St. Louis Blues in 2021-22, 18 between the Blues and New York Rangers last season, and is currently on pace to surpass the 20-goal mark for the eighth time in his career.

Put simply, he’s a legit offensive threat.

The Senators sit at the bottom of the Atlantic Division standings and own the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Trading a veteran with an expiring contract like Tarasenko and getting more assets for their rebuild makes a lot of sense.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported Monday an update on Tarasenko’s future in Ottawa. He noted that several teams have inquired about the veteran forward, including the Bruins.

“A league source told this newspaper that the Florida Panthers would be high on his list of possible destinations,” Garrioch wrote. “They are among the teams that have kicked tires along with the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers.”

What would be the price to acquire Tarasenko?

“Though the Senators are seeking a second-round pick and a prospect in return for Tarasenko, he has some control over the situation,” Garrioch wrote. “He has a full no-trade clause (NTC), which means he has every right to decide his future.”

If the Senators are determined to get a second-rounder for Tarasenko, that might be a problem for the Bruins considering they don’t have a pick in Round 2 until 2026. They also don’t own a first-, second-, or third-round pick in 2024. Maybe there’s another way to put together a workable deal, but this is yet another example of Boston’s lack of draft capital potentially being a problem.

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In addition to his scoring prowess, Tarasenko also has 97 games of playoff experience. He has scored 44 goals with 20 assists in those matchups.

Bruins fans will remember Tarasenko from his time with the Blues, who defeated Boston in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Taransenko scored three times in that series and picked up an assist in Game 7.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was an assistant coach for the Blues in 2021-22, so he should have a pretty good understanding of Tarasenko’s skill set and whether it would be a fit for the Bruins.

The Bruins need to upgrade their blue line before the trade deadline. It’s their No. 1 weakness right now. But adding a middle-six forward of Tarasenko’s caliber would be a strong move, too.