Blues Expect Vladimir Tarasenko to be on Opening Day Roster

Vladimir Tarasenko made it clear that he wanted to move on from the St. Louis Blues. The two-time all-star requested a trade this off-season, but the Blues have not accommodated his request. Blues general manager, Doug Armstrong, doubled down on his team’s stance, expressing that the Blues expect Tarasenko to be on their opening day roster for the start of the upcoming NHL season.

Injuries have impacted Tarasenko’s playing time over the past two seasons. In total, the Russian has played just 34 games, registering seven goals and 24 points. Tarasenko is still in prime hockey years, tallying 356 points from the start of the 2014-15 season to the end of the 2018-19 season, culminating with a Stanley Cup victory over the Boston Bruins.

Tarasenko has two years left on his eight-year $60-million contract that pays him $7.5 million a season. According to CapFriendly, 19 of the NHL’s 32 teams don’t have the cap space to take on Tarasenko’s contract, meaning any deal for the 29-year-old will have to be a near dollar-for-dollar transaction. Tarasenko was left unprotected in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft but went unselected.

The Blues enter the season with +4100 odds to win the Stanley Cup at FanDuel Sportsbook, but those odds will fall if Tarasenko is dealt ahead of the season.