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Tarasenko leaves the Blues and the Edmonton bubble

Tarasenko joins Tuukka Rask as the next big NHL star to duck out of the playoffs.

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This just in, St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko has left the team and its "bubble" in Edmonton to meet with team doctors back in St. Louis. Tarasenko is reportedly having issues with his surgically-repaired shoulder.

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It's unknown whether Tarasenko will be allowed to re-join his team at some point, but it's worth noting that the team won't issue an update on his status for at least a week. While Tarasenko has made his decision based on different circumstances, he joins Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask as the two biggest NHL stars to leave the NHL's bubble mid-way through the playoffs.

The 28 year old Tarasenko has missed the past two games in the Blues' first round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks. If this is indeed the end of the season for Tarasenko he'll go goalless and pointless in just four games. Last season he, of course, put up 11 goals and 17 points in 26 games en route to the Blues' first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. He also managed an impressive 33 goals and 68 points in 76 games during the 2018-19 regular season, but was limited to just 10 regular season games in 2019-20.

Read below for the official press release announcement courtesy of the Blues' website:

Vladimir Tarasenko is headed back to St. Louis to meet with team doctors for further evaluation of his surgically-repaired shoulder.
Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong made the announcement through a team press release on Tuesday. The team says an update on Tarasenko's status will be available next Monday.
Tarasenko has missed one round-robin contest and Games 3 and 4 of the Blues' first-round series with Vancouver. He was originally injured on Oct. 24, 2019 vs. Los Angeles and missed 61 games after undergoing shoulder surgery. He returned to the lineup for the first time in the Blues' exhibition game on July 29 against Chicago and had played in five games (including the exhibition) since the NHL resumed play.
Prior to the shoulder injury, Tarasenko had posted 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 10 regular-season games.