Vladimir Tarasenko

Blues want Tarasenko to get in shape


Apparently Dustin Byfuglien isn’t the only player having his fitness questioned today.

Jeremy Rutherford of the the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Blues are unhappy with the shape Vladimir Tarasenko is in and they want him to start putting in some work.

“We’ve given him a clear mandate on what we expect when he gets back here, what we’re going to see from him on a conditioning level, the grind that he’s going to have to do,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said recently.

Tarasenko dealt with a concussion this past season, one that knocked him out of action for about a month. When he returned, his play wasn’t the same scintillating style it was before his injury and he wound up being a healthy scratch late in the season and in the playoffs.

The Blues say Tarasenko is in an important spot for them, however, and cracking the whip on him to get in shape is part of that urgency. Now if he can just do a few sit-ups and lay off the St. Louis barbecue, they’d be happier.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen

Coyotes place towering enforcer John Scott on waivers

John Scott, Brandon Davidson
The Canadian Press via AP

The Arizona Coyotes might not be using John Scott‘s services after all.

The team waived him this afternoon, per Craig Morgan. It’s possible that the Coyotes are simply giving themselves options as Scott clearing would allow them to send him down quickly at any point until he plays in 10 games or 30 days pass. At the same time, any team looking for a gritty fourth-line forward or third-pairing defenseman might be tempted to claim him in light of his affordable $575K cap hit for the 2015-16 campaign.

Scott is an imposing presence on the ice at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, but he doesn’t bring much to the table other than his physical play and willingness to drop the gloves. In terms of offensive abilities, he’s among the least capable in the league. In fact, the four points he recorded last season with the San Jose Sharks represented a career-high for the 33-year-old.

Meanwhile, Dan Cleary went unclaimed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie, setting the stage for him to be reassigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.