Two months ago, St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong seemed to put to rest any lingering worries about Vladimir Tarasenko returning with the club in 2022-23. “I'm not concerned about Vladi for next year at all,” he said at the time.
Despite Armstrong's remarks, the 30-year-old Blues right wing has still surfaced in the off-season rumor mill.
Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli had Tarasenko sitting fourth among his July 8 list of trade targets. He reported the winger hadn't rescinded the trade request he made last summer despite enjoying a career-best 82-point performance in 2021-22. He's also slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The New York Islanders were among the clubs linked to Tarasenko in last summer's trade rumors. After losing out to the Columbus Blue Jackets in last month's Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes, NYI Hockey Now's Stefen Rosner wondered if the Isles might revisit that interest this summer.
NHL.com's Dan Rosen was asked earlier this week if the Blues have had any trade talks involving Tarasenko. He doesn't think they have any reason to shop him despite his trade request still being on the table.
Rosen points out that the Blues would want a top-six winger in return. He doubts many teams are willing to make that deal given Tarasenko's age, UFA eligibility next summer and his history of shoulder injuries. He believes they'll keep him for one more run at the Stanley Cup though he doesn't rule out the possibility of a contract extension.
Perhaps the Blues will shop Tarasenko as a rental player at next year's trade deadline if they're out of the postseason chase by then. Otherwise, expect him to be in their lineup when the season opens in October.