First, the US Congress had a hearing where they say Aliens are real, and now, Vladimir Tarasenko, who had been rumored to be interested in joining the Ottawa Senators has become a reality.
Welcome to the Tarasenk-Show! 🤩
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) July 27, 2023
By signing a one-year $5 million deal, Tarasenko gets an opportunity to play on a young, high-tempo team that can help him return to his 30-goal scorer per season glory. Signing Tarasenko to a multi-year contract carries inherent risks related to his ability to stay healthy throughout the term. While the hope would be for Tarasenko to regain his previous form and maintain good health, there is always the possibility that his injury issues persist. That is exactly why signing him to a one-year deal is an ideal situation for Ottawa, but also for Tarasenko.
For the Senators, they get a chance to try and squeeze out the last remaining scoring from a veteran with a Stanley Cup Championship to his resume (St. Louis Blues 2019). With five seasons of 30+ goal season, including one 40 goal season, Tarasenko had established himself as one of the premier goal-scoring forwards in the NHL. Despite battling injuries in recent seasons, his offensive skills are still useful as he scored 18 goals and 50 points in 69 games split between St. Louis and the New York Rangers, followed by three points in the 7 playoff games he played with the Rangers. He adds a top-six capable offensive weapon to their lineup.
THE RANGERS WIN!!
— BlueShirtsNation.com (@NYRangerFanclub) March 2, 2023
Tarasenko’s scoring prowess could provide a substantial boost to the Senators’ goal production. With his deadly shot and knack for finding scoring opportunities, he would immediately become a go-to scorer for the team. His presence would alleviate some of the scoring burden from their current top forwards, creating a more balanced offensive attack.
Tarasenko with the Forsberg goal, on Cam Talbot, at the Garden. Again 😅🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/MZOhi37Tuk
— The Cam & Strick Podcast (@CamandStrick) March 3, 2023
Tarasenko’s versatility can also add a new dimension to the Senators’ power-play strategy. He can effectively play both on and off the puck, making him a versatile threat to the opposition’s defense. Whether he positions himself in the slot for one-timers or sets up in the circles for a quick release, his presence alone demands extra attention from penalty killers, creating more space and opportunities for his teammates.
Of course, in the end, it is always possible that this signing turns into a complete flop, that is the risk of acquiring an aging free agent like Tarasenko. One risk is his recurrent health problems, but when he’s healthy, he is a consistent offensive threat. But he hasn’t played a full NHL campaign since 2019. He won a Cup that season, so can he repeat that in 2024? A healthy season is far more likely than a Stanley Cup in Ottawa, but if the US Government can confirm Aliens exist, well, anything is possible.