Aug 21, 2013, 10:55 AM EDT
When Vladimir Tarasenko arrived on the scene last year from Russia, he came in with a lot of mystery.
A lot of familiar questions were raised: Would he adapt well to the North American game? Would he struggle with in a defensive system like the Blues have? Go ahead and insert any tired cliché about Russians.
It wasn’t all fun and games, however. His production slowed down and then he suffered a concussion in mid-February that kept him out of action for a month. After that, his production slowed even more and his minutes were cut down. As it was, Tarasenko played in just one game in the playoffs.
As Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, Ken Hitchcock thinks he could be in for a big season because he’ll be more comfortable this time around.
“He’s not going to be surprised by anything, he’s going to be way more ready, so I think our hope is that you see a player more comfortable, more composed, more assured of himself and I think this year we’ll get a really good evaluation. In talking to him, he’s about as far away as you can get from sophomore jinx. He’s hungry, he’s focused. Now you get to see his natural ability on a daily basis.”
The Blues will need him to be all that and then some. Hitchcock notes they were comfortable dealing David Perron because they wanted to make room, and get more minutes, for Tarasenko.
The team is doing what it can to help him break out and if he can do it, he can give them something they’ve lacked over the years: A bonafide gamebreaking scorer. If he can’t take that step, however, the Blues will have to hope their grinding style can lead them to the promised land.
Jul 12, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT
Taking the scenic route to development.
Jul 12, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT
One columnist lays out the sticky situation.
Jul 12, 2014, 8:11 PM EDT
He’s recovering from offseason wrist surgery.
Jul 12, 2014, 7:11 PM EDT
He was part of the Jarome Iginla trade.
Jul 12, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
He bought the team back in 1999.
Jul 12, 2014, 4:40 PM EDT
The 2012 first-rounder excelled at the junior level last season.
Jul 12, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
He’s been watching Washington for a while now.
Jul 12, 2014, 2:42 PM EDT
He might start the 2014-15 campaign with the Sabres.
Jul 12, 2014, 1:23 PM EDT
He wants to return to the NHL.
Jul 12, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT
The two share an agent.
Jul 12, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT
The Flyers goaltending prospect is set to begin his pro career in 2014-15.
Jul 12, 2014, 10:04 AM EDT
He had a hearing scheduled for July 25.
Jul 12, 2014, 9:01 AM EDT
He lost vision in his right eye.
Jul 12, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Peruse Saturday’s set of links.
Jul 11, 2014, 11:23 PM EDT
Two former first-round draft picks.
Jul 11, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT
He didn’t play professional hockey in 2013-14.
Jul 11, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT
Jason Spezza’s departure likely makes him Ottawa’s No. 1 pivot.
Jul 11, 2014, 8:04 PM EDT
Will their optimism be justified?
Jul 11, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT
He seemed bound for Switzerland on Thursday.
Jul 11, 2014, 5:25 PM EDT
They acquired him from Montreal this summer.
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