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Vladimir Tarasenko was offered $22 million by the Senators earlier this summer

Last night, the saga of Vladimir Tarasenko’s autonomy finally came to an end. The Russian forward, who spent last season with the Blues and Rangers, had still not signed a contract for the coming season, even though the market had been open for almost a month.

The problem is, independent players who are as patient as he is often end up disappointed. They wait for a club to pull out the chequebook, but often have to settle for a lesser contract than they had hoped for.

Like John Klingberg last year… and like Tarasenko this year.

We knew Tarasenko had turned down offers from other teams, and we suspectedhe’d probably turned down a few offers to sign a multi-year contract at an attractive salary.

And now we learn that one of those multi-year offers came from… the Senators. According to Andy Strickland, the Ottawa club had offered a four-year, $22 million contract ($5.5 million a year) to the Russian, who finally signed a one-year, $5 million deal in the Canadian capital.

The Hurricanes ($5.25 million) and Sharks ($6 million) offered him more money for a one-year contract, but in the end, he’ll be playing in Ottawa next year.

Sometimes it pays to be patient in the NHL to find the right offer, but for free agents, it’s often a gamble that backfires.

There’s a scenario in which Tarasenko has a big season and signs a big long-term contract next summer (when the salary cap will have gone up by $4 million), but there’s also one in which he doesn’t feel comfortable with his new team and his next contract is for another year at an even lower salary.

And if that’s the case, he’s really going to miss the four-year, $22 million offer he could have signed earlier this summer. Talk about John Klingberg, who will make $3M less this year than last (and, again, on a one-year contract).

I really wish Tarasenko had made the right bet, and he’ll be well surrounded in Ottawa to produce, but being too patient has backfired. And against his former agent, obviously, since he was recently fired.

In gusto

– Plekanec in Toronto still disgusts me a little. At the same time, it’s thanks in part to this trade that the CH is betting on Lane Hutson today.

– I’m still leaning towards Andrei Vasilevskiy.

– Nice catch for CF Montreal.

– The Angels could really use one.

– Max Verstappen sets the fastest time, but Charles Leclerc will start on pole.

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