Tarasenko looks to have a change of heart, says he will give “100%” effort for Blues this season

Tarasenko finally speaks after his offseason trade request.


Earlier this offseason St. Louis Blues insider Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic released a bomb shell report on Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko stating that Tarasenko had demanded a trade out of St. Louis. 

From Rutherford:

Tarasenko has officially requested a trade from the club, multiple sources have told The Athletic.
The right winger asked for the move earlier this offseason, and Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is currently attempting to facilitate the deal, according to league and team sources. There is no apparent timetable for a move, but the expectation is that it could happen before the start of the 2021-22 season.

That was back in July and here we are in September and the opening of Blues training camp and Tarasenko has STILL not been traded. So... what gives?

Well, at the time Rutherford reported that the Russian sniper had been at odds with Blues management since his mishandled shoulder surgeries in both 2018 and 2019.

Again from Rutherford:

So why does he want out? According to sources familiar with the situation, he is upset with the team’s handling of his shoulder surgeries in 2018 and 2019 — his first two of three such surgeries, which were both performed by Blues physicians — and feels there’s no trust left between him and the organization.

With that information you can understand why Tarasenko was seeking a fresh start elsewhere and from everything NHL insider Elliotte Friedman was saying, it sounded like the Blues were happy to facilitate that fresh start.

From Friedman's 31 Thoughts podcast back in July:

"I also think the Blues would like to move on too. This is two sides looking at this and saying, 'It's time to do it.' I do believe both sides want a divorce. 

So again I ask... what gives?

Why hasn't Tarasenko been traded?

Whatever the reason, Tarasenko officially met with the media today at the opening of Blues training camp and appeared to have put things behind him.

Here's what Tarasenko had to say about himself, his relationship with the team and his plans heading into a potentially awkward season, again courtesy of Rutherford:

"My mindset is good. Happy to be with the guys. I have a good relationship with the guys. It's been a weird summer, but it's going to stay between us - between me and Doug. I'm here to work. As long as I play here, I will work 100%. I'm 100% healthy."

Whatever ends up happening with Tarasenko, I would caution any fanbase out there itching to add him to their team. Yes, Tarasenko is a supremely talented player but he's played just 34 games combined over two seasons and he's paid $7.5 million for the next two seasons. Buyer beware, you may be receiving damaged goods.