ST. LOUIS – One of the most accomplished players in St. Louis Blues history returns to the Enterprise Center for the first time as an opponent.
Vladimir Tarasenko and the New York Rangers pay a visit to St. Louis for one of their final tuneups before NHL playoffs. The Blues traded Tarasenko to the Rangers on Feb. 9 after an 11-year run in St. Louis.
A 2019 Stanley Cup champion, Tarasenko ranks among the top five Blues for goals (262), points (553) and numerous other offensive categories. Prior to the trade, St. Louis made playoffs in nine of their ten seasons with Tarasenko.
Tarasenko has helped the Rangers with seven goals and 10 assists in 27 games since his arrival, though his scoring production is a bit down from his career norms in St. Louis.
Several players and head coach Craig Berube look ahead to the macthup with Tarasenko.
“A lot of good memories with him,” said Colton Parayko. “Just down-to-earth in the room, a really good, and I really appreciate being around him.”
“Vladdy was here a long time, did a lot of great things here. Part of the cup-winning team. I always look forward to seeing those guys.”
The Blues received a first-round pick, reacquired Sammy Blais and picked up some other pieces in the trade. Blais has worked his way to a lineup regular since rejoining the Blues, scoring 8 goals and 11 assists in 27 games. His better point-per-game rate is better than Tarasenko since the swap.
Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Thursday. It will be the Blues’ penultimate home game of the 2023 season. St. Louis was officially eliminated from playoff contention Sunday.