Whether you like it or not, I’m pretty sure St. Louis Blues forward and assistant captain Vladimir Tarasenko is here to stay.
Tarasenko, a right winger, has been in St. Louis since 2010. The 30-year-old NHL star was drafted 16th overall by the Blues in the 2010 NHL Draft. He previously played for HC Sibir Novosibirsk and SKA St. Petersburg in his native Russia.
During the offseason, Tarasenko has been the subject of countless business rumors over the demand for a deal to leave St. Louis due to issues regarding his shoulder surgeries. I don’t know about you, but recent rumors and speculation has kind of reminded me of the gossip stories about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ahead of the start of the 2021 NFL season. Tarasenko did not deserve these rumors, but various media reported that the Blues were looking to trade “The Russian Tank”.
Don’t get me wrong, the Blues may still be looking to trade Tarasenko, who might still want a trade. Anything could happen, but he could stay at St. Louis for another year as his eight-year, $ 60 million contract expires at the end of the 2022-2023 NHL season. After that, it will become a UFA. Maybe he’ll be chased by the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, or Nashville Predators (and I wouldn’t mind if either of those teams did, because that would make the league a little bit better. interesting). But this thought is on the back burner.
I can’t end Tarasenko’s story, but I can explain why I’m not buying it. He has 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) in 32 games since the start of the season. He has scored nine points (five goals, four assists) in his last five games.
If you’re a tough or casual fan, you might think he’s not as good as he used to be; but he’s on the Blues’ second line for a reason. He is one of the team’s offensive sparks alongside Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas. He’s still a leading attacker in my book.
Tarasenko’s point streak is currently four games. He had three points (one goal, two assists) in the Blues’ 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at the Enterprise Center on Wednesday, December 29, 2021. He was named the âfirst star of the gameâ.
“We all try to play a similar style … to work hard and create opportunities for each other, to be selfless and just enjoy the game.”
Hear from Vladimir Tarasenko, Jordan Kyrou and Craig Berube after tonight’s win over Edmonton. pic.twitter.com/GZqB2yL6v4
– St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) December 30, 2021
Tarasenko is part of the reason the Blues have enjoyed offensive success, despite an unstable attack due to illness, injury etc. Plus, the Russian line of him, Ivan Barbashev and Pavel Buchnevich is fun to watch when they play. together.
Tarasenko might not be divine, but he seems to have returned to the vintage NHLer that Blues fans love.