St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko will have shoulder surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss at least five months of action, at which point he’ll be re-evaluated.
The team made the announcement Monday, placing the 27-year-old on the long-term injured reserve list.
Tarasenko was injured in the first period of an October 24th game against the Los Angeles Kings. He got tangled up with Sean Walker on a partial breakaway.
In 10 games with St. Louis, Tarasenko has 10 points – three goals and seven points. Last season, he produced 33 goals and 35 assists for 68 points in 76 games. His best season to date was a 75-point run in 2016-2017.
The Blues are 6-3-3 and have won three of their last four ahead of a tilt with the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. They have five players with at least 10 points and do have the depth to proceed at a decent offensive clip, but missing a player of Tarasenko’s quality is going to sting no matter who you are.
“We’re going to need guys to keep stepping up and obviously it’s a great opportunity for young guys that will probably have better looks, better chances,” forward David Perron said Sunday. “That’s what you crave for as a young guy, to have more ice time, better players to play with, things like that. We’re looking forward to see what’s going to happen and the guys that will step up in those roles.”
That aside, there are potentially big problems. Tarasenko injured this shoulder twice before, once in the Stanley Cup Final last year. He also had surgery on his left shoulder after the 2017-2018 season. And if we really look at the injury this time out, it’s a nothing play with almost zero contact with Walker. That’s not a good sign.
With that kind of history, you have to imagine that five-month re-evaluation takes on a whole new meaning. In other words, Tarasenko could be in for a long, long recovery. And even then, that shoulder is going to be an issue – probably for the rest of his career.
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