Vladimir Tarasenko leaves Rangers for Senators on 1-year free agent deal

Rangers need to turn the page for Game 5
New York Rangers’ Vladimir Tarasenko (91) looks to pass during the second period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the New Jersey Devils Monday, April 24, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photos

It was always a long shot that Vladimir Tarasenko would return to the New York Rangers with their current cap situation. 

Thursday night ended all hopes of that ever happening. 

The Ottawa Senators announced that they signed Tarasenko to a one-year, $ 5 million deal ending any chance of the Rangers and their trade deadline acquisition of reuniting. 

New York originally brought Tarasenko in via a trade back in February after the right winger had requested a trade from the St. Louis Blues last season. In 31 games with the Blueshirts, the 31-year-old tallied 24 points (8 goals, 13 assists) while stabilizing the team’s lines under Gerard Gallant.

Tarasenko was also incredibly efficient in the postseason tallying four points while being one of the lone players to consistently have success against a faster Devils squad. Joining Patrick Kane as another All-Star trade acquisition, the Blueshirts were considered to be a dangerous team once the playoffs rolled around.

Unfortunately, New Jersey would overwhelm New York in seven games, effectively ending Tarasenko’s Rangers run. 

The Rangers gave up Sammy Blais, defenseman prospect Hunter Skinner, a conditional first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, and a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft for the rental that became the right winger. 

During the offseason, general manager Chris Drury maneuvered the tight cap space he had to bring in older veterans like Blake Wheeler and Jonathan Quick. After RFA deals with K’Andre Miller and Alexis Lafreniere (Laffy’s negotiation is still ongoing), the Rangers are expected to be left with under $1 million in space. 

That left little room for the team to bring back some of the stars they had brought in during the deadline. Now Tarasenko has officially left New York to head north of the border. 

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