Oilers would be better-served not making a move for Vladimir Tarasenko

The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly one of several teams interested in Vladimir Tarasenko, but would trading for the four-time All-Star really be a good idea?

Ottawa Senators v Chicago Blackhawks
Ottawa Senators v Chicago Blackhawks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The clock is rapidly ticking towards 1 p.m. MT on Friday, and the trade deadline. At the time of posting, the Edmonton Oilers have yet to make a move which would improve the roster and their chances of hoisting the Stanley Cup this season.

The Oilers are already one of the top contenders to go all the way and reach the holy grail, but anything they can do to strengthen their position can only help. As you'd expect, they've been linked with a whole host of players who -- theoretically at least -- would make them a better team.

One such player apparently on their radar currently resides in the nation's capital, with the Ottawa Senators. According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Oilers are reportedly one of a number of teams interested in Vladmir Tarasenko, along with the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers.

With the Senators having an extremely disappointing season and being all but out of the playoffs, Garrich writes that general manager Steve Staios is looking to make some changes. This reportedly includes moving a player who will become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The positives

Certainly Tarasenko makes for an enticing option and one who meets the Oilers' criteria of wanting to add a top-six winger to the team. He is an excellent offensive threat, highlighted by top level speed and dangerous scoring ability.

The four-time All-Star has 41 points and a +13 in 57 games this season, which is a good return given he has been competing with a struggling team. You'd envision a player who just two seasons ago had a career-high 82 points in 75 games for the St. Louis Blues, would be more effective alongside Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton.

The negatives

The question is, does trading for Tarasenko represent the best way forward for the Oilers? In our humble opinion the answer is no, due to the combination of his poor defensive game and durability issues over the years.

The 2019 Stanley Cup champion becomes even less of an attractive proposition, when considering what the Senators are apparently looking for in return. According to Garrioch, their asking price is a second round draft pick and a prospect.

Now in fairness, the second round draft pick itself is not an issue as such. However, the same cannot be said about parting company with a prospect such as Philip Broberg, who still has the potential to become a top-pairing blue liner.

At the same time, even if the Oilers did make a move for Tarasenko, there's no guarantee he would want to move to Edmonton anyway. As per Garrioch, he has a full no-trade clause and complete control over his future.

One thing that would seemingly be a positive for the Oilers, is they likely wouldn't be getting a player who will leave come season's end. Speculation has it that one of the terms for the 32-year-old deciding to move, is that he would negotiate a contract extension with whoever he joins.

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On the subject of Tarasenko's contract, his current deal carries a cap hit of $5 million for this season, which represents another hurdle the Oilers would need to resolve. As per Cap Friendly, at the time of posting they are projected to have $2,373,102 of cap space at the Mar. 8 trade deadline.

Overall, while we can appreciate why Tarasenko would be of interest to the Oilers, it makes sense for them to look elsewhere for a top-six winger. The last thing they need is an injury-prone, defensive liability, especially with how much stronger they've been at their own end of the ice as this season has progressed.

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