According to The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford, right wing Vladimir Tarasenko has requested a trade from the St. Louis Blues due to how he believes the organization has handled his previous two shoulder surgeries in 2019 and 2020.
The 29-year-old has appeared in just 34 regular-season games over the past two seasons, posting seven goals and 24 points over that span. Tarasenko racked up five straight seasons with at least 33 goals from 2014-19, including back-to-back seasons with that total in 2018 and 2019.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 8, 2021
Tarasenko tallied two goals in the team’s four-game first-round 2021 Stanley Cup Playoff series, where they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche.
“Furthermore, Tarasenko will likely want to play for a contender, and the list of those teams with limited cap space next season includes Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, the New York Islanders, Vegas, Washington, Montreal, Toronto, and Florida,” Rutherford wrote. He added that the New York Rangers could be another possible fit for Tarasenko, who has a full no-movement clause.
Blues owner Tom Stillman and GM Doug Armstrong have stated that they believe the team’s Stanley Cup Championship window is still open, so they likely will be looking to make a “hockey trade” in such a deal.
Rumors have linked Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk, whose father played for and who has a desire to play for the Blues, to the team but sources have said that it will take “much more” than just Tarasenko, who has two years left on a contract that carries a cap hit of $7.5 million, to lure Tkachuk to the Gateway City. Tarasenko’s no-trade clause would further complicate such a trade.
Rutherford added that a deal is not imminent “at the moment …, but that could change very quickly.”
Those close to Tarasenko say think that it’s time to move on.
In 531 career regular-season games, Tarasenko has tallied 218 goals, including a career-best 40 in 80 games during the 2015-16 season, and 442 points, including a career-high 75 in 82 games in 2016-17.
In 78 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Tarasenko has recorded 35 goals and 51 points, including 11 goals and 17 points in 26 games during the Blues’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2019.
By Harrison Brown