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In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the injury to Ryan O’Reilly doesn’t sound like it will change the St. Louis Blues’ approach to trading him. Are the Toronto Maple Leafs still looking at him as an option? Meanwhile, will the Carolina Hurricanes be among the teams that look closely at Vladimir Tarasenko?

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The Seattle Kraken are potentially among this season’s buyers, but the GM is still waiting, and the Vancouver Canucks have a lot of money tied up in coaching salaries.

Blues Still Think Market Will Exist for O’Reilly

Despite going on the injured reserve list, the Blues still believe there will be a trade market for O’Reilly and insiders believe the Toronto Maple Leafs might still be a team that looks his way. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic notes that Doug Armstrong (Blues GM) will be asking for a decent return.

Ryan O’Reilly St. Louis Blues
Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

LeBrun explains:

If O’Reilly returns and is able to show he’s healthy and productive, there should still be a market. He doesn’t have no-trade protection and was the 2019 playoff MVP. I think the Maple Leafs had talked about him internally, prior to the injury. Like with Horvat, the Avalanche would make sense. Any contender could.

source – ‘NHL trade board 2022-23: Could Bruins deal for Bo Horvat? Or Hurricanes? Updates on the top deadline targets’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 01/18/2023

Tarasenko Trade Could Be Around the Corner

There is also a belief that Vladimir Tarasenko‘s contract will be easier to move than ever before. He’s a pending UFA and has been fairly productive with 29 points in 34 games. Jeremy Rutheford of The Athletic writes that Tarasenko could be back from a hand injury imminently and notes, “the right winger’s return will become a showcase of whether he can prove to teams interested in the pending unrestricted free agent that he’s healthy and can help a playoff contender.”

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There is a question about whether Taransenko will ride out his no-trade clause and simply elect for free agency, but if he does allow for a trade, the Carolina Hurricanes are a team that could be interested. Rutherford adds:

Will a team like Carolina, for example, take look at Tarasenko as a possible scoring replacement for Max Pacioretty, who recently suffered another Achilles tendon injury? If not the Hurricanes, who? Will he have enough time to show clubs he’s still…

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