Rangers could steal familiar face from Panthers to fill 1RW hole this summer

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Florida Panthers at Edmonton Oilers, rangers
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Following a disappointing playoff exit at the hands of the Florida Panthers, the New York Rangers are looking towards free agency to potentially bolster their roster. In a classic case of “if you can’t beat them, buy them,” the Rangers could target a key player from the Panthers who could add significant value to their team.

Considering Vladimir Tarasenko for the Rangers’ First-Line Right Wing

Vladimir Tarasenko, a seasoned NHL winger, has shown his mettle in the league with an impressive track record. After a stint with the Rangers in 2022 following a trade from the St. Louis Blues, Tarasenko played 31 games in New York, tallying eight goals and 13 assists for a total of 21 points. His time with the Rangers showcased his ability to contribute effectively, though it was relatively brief.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Florida Panthers
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This past season, Tarasenko found himself with the Ottawa Senators and then traded mid-season to the Florida Panthers, where he has continued to excel. Over 57 games, he scored 23 goals and added 32 assists, totaling 55 points. His performance during the postseason has been notable as well, contributing seven points, including crucial points in three consecutive games during the Stanley Cup Finals against the Edmonton Oilers. As Florida edges closer to a Stanley Cup victory, Tarasenko’s contributions have been vital.

Currently coming off a one-year, $5 million deal he signed with the Senators, the 32-year-old winger might see a slight increase in his salary given his recent performances. Despite his age, Tarasenko could offer substantial experience and skill to the Rangers. He would serve as a primary right-wing player, a position the Rangers are desperate to upgrade on their first line this summer.

Presently, the Blueshirts have players like Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko (who just signed a one-year extension), and Blake Wheeler potentially filling in the first-line right wing next season. But Tarasenko’s proven track record and recent form make him a highly attractive option. Adding a veteran like him could significantly enhance the Rangers’ prospects for the 2024–25 season, especially as they aim to rebound from this year’s playoff disappointment and build a more competitive team.

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