An injured shoulder won't stop St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko from giving a cold shoulder to a Russian reporter.
Even more, several other Russian players in the NHL say they will join Tarasenko in freezing out the writer after he criticized hockey players in a response to a post by Tarasenko's wife on social media.
Sports publication traderumors.com reported Saturday that in a story about Tarasenko's injury, Alexei Shevchenko said the Blues' scorer was close to retirement.
That prompted Yana Tarasenko to go on Instagram to say the story about her husband was untrue.
But it did not end there.
Traderumors.com reports that Shevchenko then replied to the post by saying, "The only purpose of Tarasenko and other hockey players is entertaining the public. This is the only reason you're here for. You should just pray to the fact that you're being talked about. You're useless."
That did not sit well with other Russian skaters, said agent Dan Milstein, who represents a number of Russian players, including Tampa Bay winger Nikita Kucherov and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
"Many clients and their families called me, they are outraged," Milstein is quoted as saying. "You need to respect people and their work, but (Shevchenko) does not ..."
For the record, Tarasenko issued a statement on his Instagram account saying he has no plans to retire.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Russian reporter was criticizing players, not Tarasenko's wife, in his reply to her post.
Your weekly capsule of local news, life advice, trivia and humor from Post-Dispatch columnist Joe Holleman.