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Tarasenko’s KHL coach: “To my mind, he has got ahead of himself a little bit”

Jul 23, 2012, 5:06 PM EDT

Vladimir Tarasenko Getty Images

An honest take? Or, just sour grapes?

We’ll let you decide if SKA St. Petersburg coach Milos Riha was being genuine in his assessment of Vladimir Tarasenko, the 20-year-old that decided to leave Russia to play for the St. Louis Blues next season.

“It was his decision and his choice. To my mind, he has got ahead of himself a little bit,” Riha said on the KHL website, as per RIA Novostia (H/T Kukla’s).

“I think that he could play a couple more years in KHL and grew to maturity as a hockey player. I can only wish him luck.”

Tarasenko was traded to SKA St. Petersburg in January. Since breaking into the KHL as a 16-year-old, he’s piled up 100 points in 176 games.

  1. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    The later

  2. mickeyb21 - Jul 23, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    So the KHL finally admitted the NHL is better?

    Also, this sounds like sour grapes to me.

  3. jacketsfan7 - Jul 23, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    I think he made a good decision

  4. scaarepittschamberofcommerce - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Well he’s been held in the khl for two seasons to get more prepared. I for one am excited to see him make his own decision to come over and I’m excited to see what he can do.

  5. bluesrawesome - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Hes gotten ahead of himself? He’s dominated the KHL as a19 and 20 year oldbut hes not good enough to cone over to the NHL? This guy dosnt want to loose the Tank and thats why he’s saying this. Im really shocked how much bad influence has come from close people reguarding Tarasenko’s career i saw au report that a family member was mad at him for coming over because hell make less $ the first three years sad. Let the kid follow his dream!!!!!!!! He can always come back to the KHL.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      i wouldnt call 100 pts in 176 games as “domination” in an offensive league. he’s in for a wake-up call IMO.

  6. theolgoaler - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Yep. Sourer Grapes than Don Cherry ever thought about drinkin’… “grow to maturity as a hockey player”? Whaddaya want, to keep him until he’s 30? LGB!

  7. goblues29 - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    why would he want to leave russia, better vodka there. do they make sour grape flavored vodka?

  8. sergeikremlin - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    The mentality of Russian hockey coaches has always been to put players in their place, whether young or old, but especially young.

    Tarasenko is an elite prospect and he is ready to take a crack at the NHL. So is Kuznetsov. The difference is that Kuznetsov is staying loyal to Russia, and for that, will likely land a spot on Sochi 2014 roster, while Tarasenko will be black balled unless he really lights it up quickly in the NHL.

    Good on Vlady for making the move. It’s the best thing for HIS career, not the KHL.

  9. cardsandbluesforever - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    the reason Tarasenko stayed in the KHL after he was drafted was to finish out the KHL contract he signed. with the success the blues were having last year he really wanted to come over then but he decided to stay in the KHL out of respect for the contract he signed. in fact he got traded to a low teir team right before the trade deadline, as the team he signed with knew he would be leaving after his contract was up.

    oh and the coach is bitter too.

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