The St. Louis Blues have announced another surgical procedure, this time indicating that Vladimir Tarasenko underwent arthroscopic knee surgery today. He will be re-evaluated in four weeks. He joins Robert Thomas on the shelf with an injury, though both have not been ruled out for the start of training camp in September.
Tarasenko, 27, looked like his stay as one of the top snipers in the NHL was finished when he scored just 12 goals through the first half of the 2018-19 season, but like the rest of the Blues turned it around in the second half. Finishing with 33 goals—the fifth consecutive season he has cracked the 30-goal mark—Tarasenko rode a hot stick into the playoffs and posted another 11 postseason tallies, only trailing Jaden Schwartz’ 12 for the team lead. That silenced any trade talks that may have popped up in the first part of the year, and put him back on line to be a huge contributor for the Blues going forward.
In fact, Tarasenko represents one of only two players in the entire St. Louis organization that is signed for at least four more seasons, making him and Ryan O’Reilly the core the team must continue to build around. This summer will be a very interesting one for the Stanley Cup champions, who are looking at several restricted free agent negotiations—including rookie phenom Jordan Binnington—as well as potential extension talks with Alex Pietrangelo and Brayden Schenn. If the team wants to keep this group together they have some serious work to do, once of course the partying stops.