Vladimir Tarasenko is ready to move forward with the St. Louis Blues after an off-season that included a trade request and being left exposed in the Seattle Expansion Draft.
Tarasenko, who has been limited to just 34 games over the past two seasons largely due to three shoulder surgeries, declined to speak specifically on the trade request, but said he was healthy entering the season.
"My mindset is good," Tarasenko said, per NHL.com. "Happy to be with the guys. I have good relationships with the guys. It's been a weird summer, but it's kind of [staying] between us [and] between me and Doug. I'm here to work. As long as I play here, I will work 100 per cent. I'm 100 per cent healthy. [We'll] go from here.
"It's all behind. I don't see a reason to discuss it now. Camp [started]. I don't want to be a distraction in the room. Like I said, I'm here to work. I'm healthy, I'm happy to play hockey again."
The 29-year-old winger had four goals and 14 points in 24 games last season, adding two goals in four playoff games. He has two years left on his current contract at an average value of $7.5 million with a no-trade clause.
Blues head coach Craig Berube also downplayed any talk that Tarasenko would be a distraction to the team this season.
"I really don't believe it's a distraction at all," Berube said. "He's been here for a while, skating with the guys, being with the guys, hanging out with the guys. I thought he looked excellent out there today. He's been part this team for a long time. Yeah, things happen in the summertime or things are said. I don't go into all that, I don't worry about that. He's here playing hockey for us, so I coach him. That's it. It's not a distraction in my opinion. Laine
"I don't believe it's an issue at all. If he wasn't bought in, I don't think he'd have been here a month early skating with the guys and working out with the guys and being around. He's obviously bought in. He's part of this team. He's been part of this team his whole career, NHL career. I don't see a buy-in problem."
Since being selected by the Blues 16th overall in the 2010 draft, Tarasenko has 218 goals and 223 assists over nine seasons and 531 games.
He won a Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019.