Vladimir Tarasenko Chooses the NHL & St. Louis
Move aside rumors, the decision has come – and it didn’t even require an ESPN special. Vladimir Tarasenko has decided to leave the KHL and come to the NHL to play for the St. Louis Blues in 2012-13. The news, reported by StlToday, states that Tarasenko has informed the Blues he will come over for 2012-13 and that he has agreed in principal on a deal with the club that he is expected to sign this summer.
It’s official. You now have permission to start drooling over line combinations and potential highlight reels from the Russian prospect Vladimir Tarasenko.
Evidently, GM Doug Armstrong received a call from Tarasenko’s agent at 1:30am Central time, informing him that Tarasenko had indeed made his mind up and wanted to come to St. Louis. Tarasenko personally called Armstrong around 6:00am.
Armstrong summed things up nicely for Blues fans by telling Tarasenko the team is excited to have him. Well said. Tarasenko responded by saying he’s excited to play here.
Before we try to figure out why all the biggest news surrounding the Blues happens in the hours between midnight and 6:00am, let’s take a look at what will happen the rest of the summer.
Tarasenko has already informed the Russian teams in the KHL that he is departing. He has already agreed to a deal with the Blues in principal, but will still need to sign a contract. This deal is expected to be signed on July 1st.
Fans had been starting to fear the worst from Tarasenko. As each day went by with no word on the Russian prospect, fans started buying into the idea that no news is bad news – a true sentiment in this situation. However, Tarasenko’s interest was enough to push him past offers of more money from KHL clubs and enough to push him past the adversity he will face moving to the NHL.
For the Blues this is the ideal situation. The best case scenario has happened. The team could have very easily seen their (arguably) best prospect in years choose to stay in Russia and turn his back on the NHL, leaving the Blues in an awkward and empty place. Instead, they’ll have a prospect that is an immediate threat at the NHL level on the right side for the Blues all at an extremely affordable price.