Tarasenko’s Deal with SKA Falls Through
Two days after reporting that Valdimir Tarasenko was returning to SKA during the NHL lockout, it appears he might not be heading for the KHL after all. Dmitry Chesnokov reports that SKA declined signing Tarasenko after Tarasenko’s agent reportedly made a few last minute demands. SKA currently holds his rights in the KHL which means unless they trade his rights or unless they negotiate further, Tarasenko could be headed for the AHL.
What a strange turn of events. The story still needs to evolve a bit more but as it stands it appears a late push by Tarasenko’s agent might have cost him a return to the KHL during the lockout. To be fair, Tarasenko may very well still play in the KHL. SKA might renegotiate or they might trade his rights to a club that wants to add a new piece. However, as the situation currently stands, the door to the KHL appears to have closed on Tarasenko.
Blues fans have been rooting for him to report to Peoria, not only so he can start adjusting to life in America and the game of hockey in America but also because Peoria sits roughly three and a half hours from the Scottrade Center, opening up the possibility of a short road trip with an exciting payoff. Currently it appears that the AHL is the next destination for him barring any late movement from the KHL.
Personally, I had no opinion one way or the other on where Tarasenko played. I would like him to start getting accustomed to the style of hockey in America but I also think a continued run with SKA might be a bit more challenging, especially given the influx of NHL stars into the KHL. We’ll have to wait and see what happens from here but one thing is clear – if Tarasenko is a name in the AHL this season you can bet that the Peoria Rivermen will reap the rewards of increased attendance.