Tarasenko Returning to SKA
During the Lockout
Vladimir Tarasenko has decided to return to Russia to play with SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL during the NHL lockout, as reported by SKA’s official site. Tarasenko elected to return to the club he had been skating with prior to signing a three-year contract with the Blues, declining the option to skate with the Peoria Rivermen in the AHL.
This news isn’t very surprising. Tarasenko came over to the the United States to skate in the NHL – not the AHL. While skating with Peoria would probably be a good learning experience to see how the game is played in America, it’s tough to fault Tarasenko for wanting to return home and skate with his former club while the NHL figures itself out.
Tarasenko will return to SKA with the season in full swing. Interestingly enough, he won’t be the only NHL skater making a cameo with the Russian club. Ilya Kovalchuk announced on September 18th that he would be playing with SKA during the NHL lockout. Numerous other NHL players have also been linked to SKA but no other official announcements have been made.
So what does this mean for Tarasenko’s NHL career? Honestly, not much. Blues fans should simply hope that he isn’t injured while skating for SKA. He is still a member of the St. Louis Blues but he wants to keep his skills sharp during the lockout.
Update: Jeremy Rutherford has confirmed that Tarasenko will return to the NHL when the lockout ends. This should put to rest any speculation or conspiracy theories that the KHL will again try to retain him permanently.