Recently the St. Louis Blues locked up star right winger Vladimir Tarasenko with an eight-year contract and an average cap hit of $7.5 million. Both parties should be happy about this contract as it gives Tarasenko money and the Blues some long term stability. In this translated interview, originally appearing on the new Russian hockey portal Russia-Hockey.Ru, Vladimir Tarasenko shared his emotions about his new contract, declaring that he is very satisfied with it.
* For the original interview by Russia-Hockey.Ru, click here.
– Vladimir, can we congratulate you on your new contract?
– Yes, finally this slightly uncertain period has come to an end, at least for another eight years. If we’re talking seriously, I am grateful to St. Louis for their trust and their professional attitude towards me. We had constructive talks and we managed to reach a good understanding. In this very important moment I want to express again my gratitude to my parents, my wife, and my grandparents. Without their support we wouldn’t have reached this result. I also want to thank Sibir Novosibirsk, my home club, and SKA St. Petersburg, my last team before going to the NHL. Those two teams will always be in my heart.
– The North American press reported that a KHL team offered you a 3-year, 33-million contract. Was it just gossip?
– Now it makes no sense to confirm or deny anything. I am not going to comment on it. I signed a contract with St. Louis, and I want to start over. I can say only one thing: it’s a very good thing that Vladimir Tarasenko is a hockey player with some market interest. It means that this player and his relatives did a good job (laughs).
– Didn’t you want to sign a shorter contract? After all, the cap grows every year.
– Now we can say whatever we feel. We weighed any “plus” and “minus” and tried to analyze each scenario. I chose the longest version of the contract and I’m happy about it.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 7, 2015
– What is the most important aspect of your contract?
– I still can’t believe that I signed a contract until I will be 31. I still think I am very far from that age. I hope that by 2023, I and the Blues won’t get bored.
– There will be many new Russian players in the NHL next year. Will it be more fun?
– It will be harder. Competition will be more intense as many very good players from the KHL will be here. And it will be a very diverse contingent: among the new players there will be veterans and youngsters.
– It’s hard for Russian fans to watch these good players leave the KHL…
– They shouldn’t worry, new stars will come. I think that the guys made the right decision to come the NHL and try to develop. Right now, the NHL is the best league in the world. When it was my turn, many told me that it was too early to move to the NHL, that the Blues won’t give me a chance. I wanted to prove them wrong and I did it. But the hardest things are still in front of me. I need to work hard for at least another eight years.
– Does the final game against Canada at the 2015 IIHF WC still hurt?
– Not really. First of all, I could finally score and help the National Team more on the international stage. Second, we had a very good team and an incredible relationship, which I miss a lot. Third, during that game we simply didn’t have luck. We understood in what areas we were inferior that day and we’ll do our best not to repeat those mistakes in the future. We have the WC on home soil, the World Cup in Toronto and the Olympic Games in Korea in front of us. It’s a tight calendar.
– Do you want to play in all three tournaments?
– I dream about helping both my club and the national team. I hope that my career as a player has just started. I am sure that the best is yet to come both for me and my teams.
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A professional hockey writer and translator. Loves Russian culture, language, and hockey. Reachable on twitter @AlexSerenRosso