Like some of his Blues teammates, Vladimir Tarasenko is dealing with the bumps and bruises that come along with a long and at times arduous NHL season but nothing that will require surgery.
Reports circulated through Russian media and Russian national coach Oleg Znarok, citing from Tarasenko's Russian-based agent Alexei Dementiev, saying the Blues' leading scorer would not participate in the IIHF World Championships because he was injured and required surgery.
Tarasenko, who led the Blues in goals (39) and points (75) and was tied with teamate Jaden Schwartz for the team lead in assists (36) during the regular season, said he was dealing with injuries but nothing that required going under the knife.
"There is nothing to talk about," Tarasenko said. "It's offseason right now, so everyone have injuries. We have time to get healthy and be ready for next year."
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong and coach Mike Yeo spoke with Tarasenko on Tuesday upon the Blues' exit meetings and came away with no concerns.
"Zero," Armstrong said. "Mike and I met with Vladi today. I think there was a little bit lost in the translation from the Russian agent to the Russian coach to the Russian media how it came across. I saw (the reports) yesterday too and I was wondering. I called him and he just said, 'No, I've got issues, but nothing that's going to need surgery.'
"We're working on his issues. He's a big man that plays big minutes that goes against the other teams' most physical, top players, so I'm not shocked he's not feeling great today."
Tarasenko was limited to six points (three goals, three assists) in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The Blues' season came to an end, losing to the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Second Round in six games after defeating the Minnesota Wild in five games in the first round.
"I don't feel good right now because we lose," Tarasenko said. "A lot of players have injuries obviously. I saw a lot of players playing with broken bones and all this stuff. That's what I said when I mean we are all close to each other. We're all family and you just can't give up and say I can't play. We have to help the team and don't think about yourself a lot; you think about the team interest."
By LOU KORAC "One-hundred percent.
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