Vladimir Tarasenko just became a father, and missed the morning skate to attend the birth of his baby. As a fellow dad, I treasure the memories I have of spending time with boys in the moments just after they were born. That is why I support mandatory family leave for Tarasenko.
Skin to skin and familial bonding
There's been a lot of research about the benefits of giving newborns skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after their birth. It eases them into breastfeeding, and reduces the chances of the baby becoming colicky. Both my boys were breech and were born by c-section, so I did skin-to-skin, which is a pretty raw deal for the baby, but they're too stupid to know the difference between my hairy chest and vastly better one offered by their mom. I have no idea what the circumstances were around Tarasenko's child's birth, but it's pretty clear that Vlad needs to make absolutely sure his baby is well-adjusted by doing skin-to-skin for the next week to 10 days.
Paternity leave and sexism
Though there have been many advances in how our society views paternal family leave, Tarasenko has a chance here to make a big statement in support of it. He must take the next 18 years off to help support his child. Children are our future, and as a new dad, he has to make sure as his baby grows, they will have a good relationship to their dad. 90% of being a parent is being there for your child. Though the NHL will miss seeing a skilled forward playing at the highest level, it's a small sacrifice in light of the importance of raising children. Maybe he'll come back and play just as well nearly two decades from now? But he for sure can be present in his child's life right now and for the next 18 years.
It takes a village
The support of a community is paramount in raising well-adjusted, happy kids. The rest of the Blues need to show their support to their best player by doing whatever is necessary for him over the next few critical months. New parents have difficulty finding the time to cook and clean and do all the necessary errands around the house. Their sleep schedules are crazy. The Blues players should go to the Tarasenko's house and help them out with all these household duties, watching and rocking the baby (does not apply to David Backes) while Tarasenko catches naps, and really, anything big or small they need done.
Everyone, I urge you to show your support for our most treasured asset, our children, by forcing Tarasenko to take mandatory family leave for the next 18 years, and for the rest of the Blues players to support his sacrifice by being there for him 24/7 for the next couple months.
Sharks @ Blues
5:00 PM Pacific
Prediction: The Sharks reluctantly move on to the Stanley Cup final after the Blues forfeit the rest of the games to help support this beautiful new baby. The Blues may not win the Cup, but they realize that they've won something more important: the trust and love of a happy, well-adjusted child.