By Patrick Kelly
After a disappointing first-round loss to the Vancouver Canucks, the St. Louis Blues were dealt a double dose of bad news Wednesday when general manager Doug Armstrong announced that forward Vladimir Tarasenko will require a third surgery on his shoulder. Tarasenko, who missed the last four playoff games after being sent home to have his shoulder examined, will be evaluated in five months, which could mean he might miss up to a month of the season if there is an early January start date.
In hindsight for some, this is unfortunately less than surprising. Tarasenko missed the game against Vegas in the round robin and in the games he played he just didn’t seem like himself. He was timid at times and as we know now may very well have known something was wrong. For a team that struggled against the Canucks, this is a concern but it’s nothing the team isn’t accustomed to dealing with after they were forced to play most of the season without the man they call Vova.
Tarasenko being on long-term injured reserve again for five months could also mean the Blues have bought more time to move around the cap space necessary to sign Alex Pietrangelo. This will be a busy fall for the Blues and the team could look a lot different when the 2021 season starts.