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Seeking Scoring, Red Wings Sign UFA Tarasenko

Russian winger is a two-time Stanley Cup winner



Vladimir Tarasenko, Red Wings
The Red Wings and Russian winger Vladimir Tarasenko are in agreement on a two-year contract.

In desperate need of scoring, the Detroit Red Wings found an answer to help them keep producing numbers in the red-light district. The club and UFA Vladimir Tarasenko are in agreement on a two-year contract with an AAV of $4.75 million.

The Russian right-winger was a 23-goal scorer the past season, which saw him splitting time between the Ottawa Senators and Stanley Cup champion Florida Panthers. Tarasenko, 32, is just two seasons removed from a 34-goal campaign with the St. Louis Blues in 2021-22.

However, it also can’t be denied that he’s been in somewhat of a decline in terms of potting goals over the past couple of seasons. And Tarasenko is also becoming a well-traveled NHLer. Last season, he would tally 18 goals in a campaign split between the Blues and New York Rangers.

Detroit will be his fifth NHL club since the start of the 2022-23 season.

Published reports were indicating that Tarasenko turned down a $4.3-million per season offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this week.

Tarasenko Compared To Red Wings Icon Fedorov

Early in his career, hockey people were drawing parallels between Tarasenko and Red Wings icon Sergei Fedorov. Indeed, Tarasenko, who wore number 91 in St. Louis – Fedorov’s number in Detroit – grew up in his homeland a major fan of the Red Wings.

“So many Russian players were here and pretty much the whole of Russia were cheering for Detroit,” Tarasenko said in a 2013 interview with the Windsor Star.

Hall of Fame coach Ken Hitchcock, who had Tarasenko sitting on the bench in front of him when he was in charge of the Blues, thinks Red Wings fans will warm to what Tarasenko brings to the ice.

“He just kind of wows you with his tenacity on the puck, his ability to make plays in small spaces,” Hitchcock said of Tarasenko. “He’s so strong on the puck.”

Since the conclusion of the season, Detroit has bid adieu to 57 goals in the form of Daniel Sprong (18), David Perron (17), Jake Walman (12) and Shayne Gostisbehere (10).

A five-time 30-goal scorer, Tarasenko would score a career-high 40 goals in 2015-16. His Cup win in Florida last month was the second of his career. Tarasenko also was a Cup winner with the Blues in 2018-19.