Vladimir Tarasenko and His Last Year on the St. Louis Blues

Vladimir Tarasenko 2022-23

Last summer when Vladimir Tarasenko requested a trade from the St. Louis Blues, it felt like the world was crumbling. He’d been a fan favourite for his whole career. He had helped lead the Blues to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2019. But now he wanted to leave? But after his third shoulder surgery, no one knew if he would bounce back or if he could be the same player he was. So, he stayed, and he put up the best offensive season of his career in the process. So, what’s next for Vladimir Tarasenko in 2022-23 with the Blues?

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Vladimir Tarasenko 2022-23 Season: Last Dance in St. Louis

It seems there’s only one thing for Blues fans to do. That’s enjoy every moment with Tarasenko because it could be the last. Now that teams have seen him put up 82 points in 75 games, he could still be traded. The Blues could decide to wait until closer to the trade deadline, trying to get something for him before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next offseason. Or, he could walk for nothing next offseason. Not to mention with the recent extensions of Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou, it’s not likely the Blues will have the money to give him a similar or more expensive contract than his $5.5 million base salary and $7.5 million cap hit this season. Any way you spin it, he hasn’t publicly rescinded his trade request so it doesn’t look like there’s much of a chance of him resigning with the Blues.

While it’s picturesque to imagine him going out in style in his potential last season as a Blue, it doesn’t seem likely just looking at the players that are likely to make the roster. The Blues seem worse in the goaltending department, losing backup Ville Husso and signing Thomas Greiss. They also seem worse in the forward department, losing David Perron and signing Noel Acciari. They also stayed stagnant at defence, which is the area they needed the most improvement out of.

What to Expect from Tarasenko This Season

So, what’s realistic to expect out of Tarasenko this year? Knowing that it’s a contract year for him will likely boost his play even more. He could top his career-best 82 points from last season, especially if he gets to play with Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich again, who also put up career highs in points last season. He’s 30 years old, so some would say he’s out of his prime. But because he missed so much time after his shoulder surgeries, only playing a total of 34 games in the 2019-20 and 20-21 seasons, he could still have a successful NHL career for years to come. As long as he can stay healthy, Tarasenko might put on a show in St. Louis once again.

So, yes, it seems like the Blues didn’t improve this offseason. But if their top forwards continue to get better, there could still be fun things happening this season. And if Tarasenko ultimately goes on another tear, don’t take a second of it for granted.