Lightning Round: Vladimir Tarasenko traded to New York Rangers
The second big deal involving a forward to happen this trade season
So far the focus of the 2023 NHL Trade Season has been on New York and the Metropolitan Division. First it was the New York Islanders shoring up their scoring by trading for Bo Horvat. Now it’s the New York Rangers answering by acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola from the St. Louis Blues.
OFFICIAL: #NYR have acquired F Vladimir Tarasenko and D Niko Mikkola in exchange for a conditional first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, Sammy Blais and Hunter Skinner.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 9, 2023
Full details ⤵️https://t.co/HF8rg4uq40
For the Rangers, they pick up a proven scorer who has struggled a bit this season (10 goals in 38 games). However, he is just a season removed from putting up 34 goals and 82 points in 75 games. With countryman Artemi Panarin setting him up for the rest of the season, the Rangers are betting that Tarasenko regains his scoring touch down the stretch.
Niko Mikkola should help their defense as well. In a corresponding move, the Rangers also placed former Lightning prospect Libor Hajek on waivers. Mikkola, a 26-year-old defenseman, might have been on the Lightning’s radar as a depth defenseman. The 6’5”, 198 lbs. left-shot is set to be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Niko Mikkola, traded to NYR, is a third-pair defensive defenceman. #NYR pic.twitter.com/qOdOEOCgC6— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) February 9, 2023
It is, in essence, a quintessential modern-day trade. St. Louis gets a first round pick (the lower of the two picks the Rangers currently own as they also have Dallas’ first), a NHL ready youngish player (Sammy Blais, a 26-year-old forward), and a prospect (Hunter Skinner, a 21-year-old defenseman currently playing with the Jacksonville Icemen). They also picked up a fourth round pick in 2024.
The trade likely takes the Rangers out of the Timo Meier sweepstakes (and also the Patrick Kane one if he waives his NTC).
Lightning / NHL News:
Lightning defeat Avalanche, 5-0 [Raw Charge]
It may have just been a regular season win, but it still felt really good.
Lightning switch up defense [Raw Charge]
We didn’t get a true comparison due to the 11/7 line-up last night, but after a couple of rough games to start February, the defensive pairs were mixed up a little. The new combination of Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak did play the most at 5v5 (15:22) and had a pretty solid game.
Avalanche leave Tampa disappointed this time [Tampa Bay Times]
Eight months ago, Amalie Arena was the happiest place on earth for the Colorado Avalanche. Not so much on Thursday night.
Early Congratulations to @PatMaroon playing in his 700th @NHL career game tonight for the @TBLightning.— Ben Hankinson (@BenHankinson) February 9, 2023
Here's how the #BigRig got to 700...
+ 204 @AnaheimDucks
+ 154 @EdmontonOilers
+ 17 @NJDevils
+ 74 @StLouisBlues
+ 251 #GoBolts
Post game comments [Tampa Bay Lightning]
Coach Jon Cooper
Bonus video from a few days ago:
A special night for Benoit Groulx [Gatineau Olympiques]
▪️ L'entraîneur-chef le plus victorieux de l'histoire de nos Olympiques avec 467 victoires❗— Olympiques de Gatineau (@OlympiquesGAT) February 9, 2023
▪️ 3️⃣ coupes du Président 🏆
Most successful head coach in Piques history with 467 wins and 3️⃣ President's Cups❗
🗣 ACCUEILLEZ BENOÎT GROULX‼
📸 : @D_Charette
Walcott 🆚 Carlile— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) February 9, 2023
Our next episode of Kitchen Face Offs pins Daniel Walcott and Declan Carlile against each other with a new added challenge – grocery shopping. pic.twitter.com/lvfo4gGxAd
Jack Hughes week-to-week with injury [ESPN]
The 21-year-old, two-time All-Star suffered an upper-body injury in practice on Wednesday and now he New Jersey Devils will have to figure out how to survive in a tough Metropolitan Division without their leading scorer (67 points in 50 games).
Five potential destinations for Timo Meier [Daily Face-Off]
You can probably cross the Rangers off of this list with the acquisition of Vladimir Tarasenko. If he’s moved, I would think Carolina would be the most likely destination.
The NBA Trade Deadline vs. the NHL Trade Deadline in a Tweet:
god i’m so jealous of the nba trade deadline— dom 🕰️ (@domluszczyszyn) February 9, 2023
just imagining brayden point saying “fuck it i’m out of here” in the middle of a playoff race and the lightning saying “well, i guess we’ll trade nikita kucherov now too”
Rhonde Barber selected to Pro Football Hall of Fame [Bucs Nation]