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Vladimir Tarasenko of Blues says he doesn't need surgery

Forward contradicts Russia coach regarding status for World Championship

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko said Tuesday he does not need surgery, contradicting comments made Monday by Russia coach Oleg Znarok when he said Tarasenko would not be participating in the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Tarasenko, who led the Blues in goals (39) and points (75) during the regular season, said he was dealing with injuries but nothing that would require surgery.

"There is nothing to talk about," Tarasenko said. "It's offseason right now, so everyone has injuries. We have time to get healthy and be ready for next year."

Tarasenko had six points (three goals, three assists) in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games. The Blues lost to the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Second Round in six games after defeating the Minnesota Wild in five games in the first round.

"I don't feel good right now because we [lost]," Tarasenko said.

Znarok, citing information from Tarasenko's Russia-based agent Alexei Dementiev, said Monday that Tarasenko would not participate in the IIHF World Championship because he was injured and would need surgery.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong and coach Mike Yeo spoke with Tarasenko on Tuesday during exit meetings and came away with no concerns.

"I think there was a little bit lost in the translation from the Russian agent to the Russian coach to the Russian media how it came across," Armstrong said. "I saw (the reports Monday) too and I was wondering. I called him and he just said, 'No, I've got issues, but nothing that's going to need surgery.'

"We're working on his issues. He's a big man that plays big minutes that goes against the other teams' most physical, top players, so I'm not shocked he's not feeling great today."

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