The Ottawa Senators were facing a significant challenge in filling the void left by Alex DeBrincat during the offseason. However, they have made a decisive move by signing Vladimir Tarasenko to a one-year deal worth $5 million. This signing brings much-needed relief to the team and offers potential solutions to their offensive struggles.
Tarasenko’s Impressive Background
Vladimir Tarasenko, a six-time 30-goal scorer, had previously spent his entire career with the St. Louis Blues, the team that drafted him 16th overall in 2010. He played a pivotal role in helping the Blues secure their first-ever Stanley Cup victory in 2019. Tarasenko joins the Senators following a productive season in which he scored 18 goals and tallied 50 points in 69 games.
The Ups and Downs in St. Louis
In recent years, friction between Tarasenko and the Blues had escalated, raising questions about his future with the team. Ultimately, he was traded to the New York Rangers around the NHL trade deadline. With the Rangers, Tarasenko scored eight goals and recorded 21 points in 31 games. His arrival, along with the addition of Patrick Kane, increased the Rangers’ expectations to contend for the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, the team fell short in the playoffs, losing in the first round to the New Jersey Devils.
A Fresh Start in Ottawa
Tarasenko’s pending unrestricted free agency status and the Rangers’ limited cap space left his future uncertain. The Senators seized the opportunity to sign him as a top-six winger, enhancing their offensive capabilities. Ottawa finished 18th in the league in goals per game but boasted the eighth-best power-play unit, with a success rate of 23.5 percent. Tarasenko’s presence is expected to elevate the team’s overall performance and contribute significantly to their playoff aspirations.
The decision to sign Tarasenko came after the Senators traded away Alex DeBrincat to the Detroit Red Wings. Sens general manager Pierre Dorion expressed the team’s intention to seek the best possible trade for DeBrincat, ultimately receiving forward Dominik Kubalik, prospect defenseman Donovan Sebrango, a conditional first-round pick, and a 2024 fourth-round pick. Meanwhile, DeBrincat secured a four-year extension with the Red Wings, solidifying his position on their roster.
Expanding the Offensive Arsenal
With the addition of Tarasenko and Kubalik, who amassed 20 goals and 45 points last season, the Senators have bolstered their forward options. This infusion of talent aligns with their goal of returning to the playoffs, a feat they have not achieved since the 2016-17 season. Tarasenko and Kubalik join an already promising group of players, including Brady Tkachuk, Claude Giroux, Tim Stutzle, Drake Batherson, and Shane Pinto, among others.
The Ottawa Senators have made a strategic move by signing Vladimir Tarasenko. This acquisition provides the team with a much-needed offensive boost and fills the void left by Alex DeBrincat’s departure. The Senators’ roster now boasts a talented group of forwards capable of making a significant impact in their quest for postseason success. With Tarasenko on board, Ottawa fans have reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season.