Tarasenko the scout? He pushed the Blues about Panarin

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If only the St. Louis Blues had listened.

“(Vladimir Tarasenko) told us the day he got here about (Artemi) Panarin,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus. “At least once a month. … We all look a little dumb right now.”

Tarasenko made the leap from SKA St. Petersburg to the St. Louis Blues in 2013. At the time Panarin was already established in the KHL, but he hadn’t broken out offensively yet. He had 18 points in 43 KHL contests in 2012-13 compared to 26 goals and 54 points in 54 games in 2014-15. Then the Chicago Blackhawks signed him.

Given how well that’s worked out for the Blackhawks, the Blues obviously wish they would have followed Tarasenko’s recommendation.

“Instead of paying him $8 million we should have hired him as a scout,” Hitchcock joked, per CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers.

Of course, St. Louis still managed to silence Chicago in Game 1, but the Blackhawks are far from done. The defending Stanley Cup champions will have an opportunity to even the series on Friday before they head to Chicago.