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Blues One Act Theater: Calling Tarasenko

Ah, happier, easier, no threat of lockout times.
Ah, happier, easier, no threat of lockout times.

Early morning in the offices of the St. Louis Blues inside the Drinkscotch Center. General manager Doug Armstrong is at his desk, going over some notes, sometimes even mumbling something to himself. He could be rehearsing a few sentences. He takes a deep breath, picks up his cellphone and dials a long number. Meanwhile somewhere in a small Russian apartment, Vladimir Tarasenko is relaxing in his American-style blue jeans, denim shirt and jean jacket. His phone rings.

Tarasenko_0625_medium Go for Tank.

Armstrong_mediumHello Vladimir, this is Doug Armstrong with the St. Louis Blues back in the United States.

Tarasenko_0625_medium Dah, Mr. Armystrong, good evening. I just finished my borst. The beet crop has been great this year.

Armstrong_medium Great...great. Feel free to call me Army, by the way. Thanks for taking my call.

Tarasenko_0625_medium Sure, Comrade Army. So, what is up in the air? How are you hanging?

Armstrong_medium Uh, great. Glad to hear you picking up the language. Are you still watching a lot of American television while you wait for the season?

Tarasenko_0625_medium You got it, dude! I love "Full House." It's the story of a great American family. I love the little girl, Michelle. One day she will be a great American actress.

Armstrong_medium Uh, yes. Agreed. So Vladimir, I thought I would try to talk to you one on one, you know, without your agent. You know, man to man.

Tarasenko_0625_medium Dah, I am man.

Armstrong_medium Right. I know you have put off flying here to St. Louis because of the potential of the lockout. I can understand where you're coming from. You've got some options there at home in Russia. You're taking a chance leaving your homeland and the league that you've had success in at a young age. But your future is here in the NHL. Your in St. Louis.

Tarasenko_0625_medium Dah. Dah. I agrees. But what about the locks? You're putting locks on the players, correct?

Armstrong_medium See, that's where we have some options. Have you ever heard of Peoria, Illinois?


Armstrong_medium Hello? Vladimir? Tank? Hello? Dammit. (dials phone) Hello international operator, I need some help connecting a call to Russia.

Operator_medium I can do that. Who are you trying to reach and what's your name?

Armstrong_medium This is Army, trying to reach Vladimir Tarasenko.

Operator_medium Hold please.

(few minutes pass)

Operator_medium Uh, Mr. Armystrong, I have a message from Mr. Tank. Quote: "Peoria can blow my jobs." End quote.

Armstrong_medium Tell him he won't have to go to Peoria. And I'll buy him some real Levi's and not some Moscow black market jeans.

Operator_medium Please hold

(few minutes pass)

Operator_medium He'll see you Friday.