St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko has reportedly requested a trade from organization, Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reports. The rumors broke in the middle of game six of the Stanley Cup Final between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) July 8, 2021
Vladimir Tarasenko Reportedly Wants Out of St. Louis
Tarasenko is the second-longest tenured member on the Blues roster behind only Jaden Schwartz. The Blues drafted Tarasenko 16th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Ten seasons and a Stanley Cup later, the franchise sniper wants out. Discover and read the rumors on why Vladimir Tarasenko wants a trade out of St. Louis. In addition, learn more about where he could go from here.
Why Does Tarasenko Want Out?
The main reason Tarasenko wants to leave is due to a lack of trust between the parties. The Russian winger is upset with the team’s handling of his shoulder surgeries in 2018 and 2019 — they were the first two of three shoulder surgeries in Tarasenko’s career. Both were performed by physicians within the Blues organization. After these operations, Tarasenko underwent a third procedure in 2020. This time, the surgery was carried out by non-club doctors. Later, Tarasenko found out that the ligament damage from the first injury was not corrected in either of the first two operations.
To make matters worse, Tarasenko reportedly complained of discomfort in his shoulder in 2020 before the playoffs. This avoidance made him believe the club waited too long before doing additional testing. In addition to injury concerns, there is a reported feeling of disappointment from Tarasenko. A Russian story said that Tarasenko was upset the Blues named Ryan O’Rielly the 23rd captain in franchise history. The existence of this story only adds to the uneasiness between player and club. These combining factors, among others, were enough to for Tarasenko to request a trade from the organization.
Likely Trade Destinations For Vladimir Tarasenko?
In addition, Tarasenko’s health problems may give teams pause. He is nearly 30 and is coming off three shoulder surgeries in a little over two years. Tarasenko has not played over 24 games in a season since 2018-19. His injury history makes projecting value difficult. Additionally, he has a no-trade clause, limiting trade options. It may come down to Tarasenko’s choice on where he’d like to go.
Finding a home for Tarasenko’s $7.5 million cap hit will be a tight squeeze. On top of his cap, the Russian winger is guaranteed $9 million in salary next season. Just about any team would love to add a winger with 442 points over 531 games since 2012-13. Tarasenko possesses one of the most lethal shots in the NHL. He will likely want to play for a contending team. Tarasenko might find a new home in Tampa, Pittsburgh, the New York Islanders, Vegas, Washington, Montreal, Toronto or Florida. All will enter next season with limited cap space available.
The relationship between the Blues and Vladimir Tarasenko appears irreparably damaged. Those close to Tarasenko believe it’s time for the 2019 Stanley Cup champion to move on. It’s hard to tell when a trade will occur. It’s entirely possible that something may happen before the start of the season.
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