Surprising contender linked to Stanley Cup champion Vladimir Tarasenko

Surprising contender linked to Stanley Cup champion Vladimir Tarasenko

Where does he go next?

Chris Gosselin

Veteran forward Vladimir Tarasenko may have won the second Stanley Cup of his career this pas month, he is now going after a new contract as a free agent.

Tarasenko hoisted the Cup with the Florida Panthers a just over a week ago and is coming off an eight-year contract that paid him $7.5 million per season. While he was traded from the Ottawa Senators to the champions ahead of the trade deadline, he now seeks another deal and one contender has entered the talks.

According to Luke Fox of Sportsnet, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been linked to Tarasenko, who would however need to agree to a lesser salary than before to join captain Sidney Crosby and the gang.

“The Penguins are reportedly one of the clubs to make the UFA an offer, as Tarasenko should be prepared to accept a pay cut from the $5 million Ottawa Senators gave him last summer… on July 27.”

It’s not out of the question that Tarasenko could return to Florida, but Fox points out that Panthers general manager Bill Zito is being careful with his money, and could decide much later on in the offseason whether he is bringing the Russian forward back in Miami or not.

And no one wants to push Zito or make him upset, right?

Tarasenko still has some good hockey left in him as he’s shown with his five goals and four assists over 22 playoff games during Florida’s memorable run.

Selected 16th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft by St. Louis,Tarasenko has recorded 293 goals and 336 assists over 751 career games with the Blues, New York Rangers , Senators and Panthers. Where does he play next?