Free-agent signee Vladimir Tarasenko is thrilled for the opportunity that lays ahead as the newest member of the Ottawa Senators.
“I like that it’s a young team, very hungry to win,” Tarasenko told reporters Tuesday. “With the ownership change and talking to the coach and to the general manager and to the guys, it sounds like they really, really want to win and take the next step and I’m very happy to be a part of it.”
Tarasenko inked a one-year, $5-million deal with the club Thursday. He was arguably the top unrestricted free agent remaining.
The Senators have missed the postseason in six straight seasons – the third-longest active drought in the league – but Tarasenko is up to task of helping the team get over the hump from rebuilder to contender.
“It’s very exciting when you have some challenges ahead of you,” he said. “I’m very excited to be a part of it and to maybe share my experience from what I’ve had in previous years and help a team take the next step, win more games, make the playoffs, and go from there.”
Tarasenko will bring valuable championship pedigree to the team, as he and Mathieu Joseph are the only players on the roster who’ve won a Stanley Cup. Tarasenko did so with the St. Louis Blues in 2019, tallying 11 goals and six assists in 26 playoff games during the Cup run. Overall, he has 97 contests of postseason experience and has made the playoffs in 10 of his 11 NHL seasons.
The Russian winger is 31 now, but he proved last season he can still be productive in a top-six role, registering 18 goals and 50 points in 69 games split between the Rangers and Blues.
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