Much was made early into the 2021 offseason after it was reported that Vladimir Tarasenko made a trade request to St. Louis Blues management.
Tarasenko, 29, has spent his entire nine-season career with the Blues but was unhappy with how team doctors have handled his shoulder injuries, something that has caused him to miss large chunks of the past two seasons. At the time the trade request was made, it felt like it was just a matter of time until his wish was granted, however with training camps beginning in less than two weeks, it seems that may no longer be the case.
Related: Maple Leafs’ Kyle Dubas Hints Morgan Rielly Could Play Out UFA Season
This past week, Blues head coach Craig Berube appeared on the Cam & Strick Podcast, and while there were many topics they discussed, one of the main takeaways was his comments regarding the Tarasenko situation.
“I expect that Vladi will play for us and intend to treat him like any other hockey player,” Berube said.
While that may be what Berube plans on doing, it is hard to imagine the situation not being awkward between Tarasenko the Blues organization. Whether or not they have been able to get him to buy back in remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter is there is some clear distrust between himself and the team doctors, which could make for a tense situation if he does indeed remain with the team.
Though Tarasenko has had a number of fantastic seasons for the Blues, not everything has been smooth sailing throughout his time there. There were also reports, at the time Ryan O’Reilly was named team captain, that Tarasenko was not happy. He believed he should have been next in line after the retirement of Alex Pietrangelo. While that situation never seemed to get a ton of attention, you have to wonder if that’s where his frustration with the organization began.
Assuming Tarasenko does remain a Blue, he will be searching for a bounce-back season after a down 2020-21 campaign. Though he was only able to appear in 24 games, he didn’t look like himself, managing just four goals and 14 points. Hopefully, now he is healthy and is able to get back to the elite level goal scorer he was for a number of years.
Next: Eichel Situation Will Get Ugly If No Trade Before Sabres’ Training Camp
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