Vladimir Tarasenko‘s shoulder problems will not go away.
The Blues forward left the Edmonton bubble during their First Round series with Vancouver to get his surgically-repaired shoulder looked after it was bothering him. On Wednesday, GM Doug Armstrong said that Tarasenko will require another procedure and won’t be re-evaluated for five months.
Tarasenko played only 10 games during the regular season after injuring his shoulder in late October. He required surgery and did not return to the Blues’ lineup until their exhibition game against the Blackhawks July 29. He played all three Round-Robin games and the first two against the Canucks before exiting the lineup.
“That surgery [in October] didn’t take the way that we had hoped,” Armstrong said. “It wasn’t successful. He’s going to go back in and have more surgery next week, and it’s serious in the sense that he won’t be with us and he won’t be re-evaluated until five months after the date of the surgery.”
That would take this situation into 2021 where the 2020-21 NHL season could be under way. The league has set Dec. 1 as a tentative start date but that could be pushed back depending on the global COVID-19 situation.
Another shoulder surgery is a troubling sign for Tarasenko, who will turn 29 in December. He’d only missed 15 games between the 2014-15 and 2018-19 NHL seasons. The team is confident that whenever he returns to the lineup he’ll be back to his old goal-scoring self.
“I’m not concerned about the work ethic and the approach he’s going to take to put himself in a great spot,” Armstrong added, “but time is going to tell on how quickly and the impact he can have when he gets back.”