When St. Louis Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko separated his left shoulder on the final game of the season last year, he underwent surgery the following day and was expected to be out four to six months, which theoretically coincided with the start of the regular season if he needed the latter amount of time to recuperate.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Tom Timmermann writes that Tarasenko just hit the four-month date in his recovery and he expects to be ready for the start of training camp in a month. He was cleared to skate and began skating nearly a week ago, but he has yet to test his repaired shoulder.
“I need to talk about it with the doctors more,” Tarasenko told the team’s website, “but I’m cleared to skate with the group, but only with some contact right now. But I can shoot. I feel great and I feel stronger. I’m ready for the season.”
Assuming there are no setbacks, Tarasenko should be ready. With a group of new additions to the Blues this offseason, they will need the 26-year-old to be ready to go if they want a chance to compete for a playoff spot this year. Tarasenko had a bit of a down year, posting 33 goals and 66 points.
- NHL.com’s Dan Myers writes that Minnesota Wild forward Luke Kunin still is not 100 percent after tearing his ACL five months ago against the Detroit Red Wings and undergoing surgery four months ago to repair it. However, the 20-year-old has already been skating for three or four weeks now and feels that he should be ready for training camp in September. The team’s first-round pick in 2016 hopes to make the club out of camp after appearing in 19 games for the Minnesota Wild last season. “I try not to look too far ahead, just take it week-by-week, keep getting stronger and more comfortable on the ice and just get that confidence back,” Kunin said. “It was definitely nice to sort of check that off I guess, but it’s not a goal of mine to just be up and down. I want to be there full time, I want to be there for a long time and be an impact player that’s going to help the team win.”
- NHL.com’s Maddie Karr takes a look back at the disappointing rookie campaign of Colorado Avalanche winger Vladislav Kamenev. Considering the haul that the Avalanche received in the Matt Duchene trade from the Ottawa Senators, many people forgot about Kamenev who has become an afterthought after the team received defenseman Samuel Girard and the Senators 2019 first-round pick, which could potentially be the No. 1 pick. However, Kamenev looked to be a key piece as the team recalled him from the AHL just nine days after the trade, but the high-scoring winger instead suffered a broken arm in that first game and missed 50 games. Despite just getting into three NHL games with the Avalanche, Kamenev still has a good chance to break with the team as a bottom-six forward if all goes well. “I know that he’s a trusted defensive player, but he has a great skillset,” Colorado head coach Jared Bednar said. “He has good hands, good feet, smart player, committed on the defensive side of the puck.”
- Another Colorado Avalanche prospect, Sampo Ranta, the team’s third-round pick in this year’s draft who is expected to attend the University of Wisconsin, may not attend there after all, reports Providence Journal’s Mark Divver. The scribe writes that Ranta has hit an admission snag at Wisconsin and suggests the 6-foot-2 winger could find himself at Boston University.