Report: Vladimir Tarasenko requests trade from Blues

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DENVER, CO - MAY 17: St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) skates during a Stanley Cup Playoffs first round game between the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on May 17, 2021. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko has reportedly requested a trade. (Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko has requested a trade, according to The Athletic's Jeremy Rutherford

There are reportedly several points of contention for Tarasenko, primarily related to how the team treated his shoulder surgeries in 2018 and 2019, creating a level of distrust between the winger and the Blues. 

The five-time 30-goal scorer carries a $9.5 million salary for the 2021-22 season, which may be a deterrent for any potential trade partner. Rutherford reported that the New York Rangers and New York Islanders could be possible fits, while speculating that Tarasenko almost certainly wants to play for a Stanley Cup contender. 

Tarasenko underwent a third shoulder surgery in 2020 that was conducted by independent doctors, who learned that the ligament damage the first surgery was supposed to correct was still prevalent. 

The 29-year-old was once one of the NHL's preeminent offensive talents, but simply wasn't the same player in 24 games during the 2021 season, recording just four goals and 14 points, while notching two goals during the Blues' first-round, four-game loss to the Colorado Avalanche. 

Tarasenko was also reportedly upset that the Blues elected to name Ryan O'Reilly as the team's next captain, following Alex Pietrangelo's decision to sign with the Vegas Golden Knights in free agency last summer. 

The offensively-minded winger was an essential part of the Blues' 2019 title, notching 11 goals and 17 points during their postseason run, which culminated in a seven-game victory over the Boston Bruins for the franchise's first Stanley Cup. 

Rutherford reported that no deal is imminent, but that could quickly change as the NHL's offseason landscape kicks into high gear following the completion of the Stanley Cup Final. 

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