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Monday, January 23, 2012

Vladimir Tarasenko Has the World -- And The Puck -- On a String

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 12:41 PM

You probably don't know the name Vladimir Tarasenko just yet, but hopefully you will soon. Tarasenko is arguably the Blues' number one prospect, currently playing for SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League

In case you're unfamiliar with the KHL, it's essentially the Russian version of the NHL, founded in 2008 at least partially to serve as a symbol of nationalist pride by Vladimir Putin's regime, though the league is expanding into parts of Europe as well. It's also the hockey league Pavol Demitra was playing in when he lost his life in a tragic plane crash last year. Tarasenko was drafted 16th overall in 2010 by the Blues, lasting so long solely due to concerns over whether he would come to North America or choose to remain in his native country. 

Tarasenko is a monster prospect. He has speed, he has size, he has hands, and best of all, he has magic powers. Bear witness: 

Well, okay, so maybe it's less magic powers than it is the ability to tie fishing wire to a puck, but still. Pretty awesome. 

The shot in question came during the skills competition of the KHL All-Star game last week. (Think of the NBA's slam dunk competition, only for white people.) Tarasenko, perhaps looking to one-up Blake Griffin's over-the-car dunk routine, grabbed some fishing line and attached it to a puck. The result: Youtube gold. (What? Yes, fishing line is the Russian equivalent of a car. Things are tough all over, all right?) 

Tarasenko did get the win in the competition, thankfully; unless someone had actual magic that didn't involve fishing wire I don't know how it could have gone any other way. He also picked up a pair of points in the All-Star game itself, netting a goal and an assist.

Personally, I'm just hoping to god he brings his fishing tackle with him when he comes over to the US of A; I'm fairly certain at this point magic tricks may be the only way for the Blues to actually score some goals in the shootout. I'm also pretty sure the NHL rulebook doesn't say anything specific about not cheating in shootouts. Hey, you want to decide the game with a gimmick? Let's just go whole hog and turn it into Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 

A tip o' the hat to St. Louis Game Time for the linkage. 

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