Blues’ Armstrong on Sobotka: ‘He’s got two weeks to decide’

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Despite a report out Russia last week suggesting Vladimir Sobotka will likely remain in the KHL for the 2015-16 season, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes the Blues are still hopeful the forward will return to North America for next season.

The 27-year-old signed a three-year deal with Avangard Omsk last summer worth a reported $12 million after the Blues were unable to come to terms with the restricted free agent.

Sobotka’s KHL deal includes an out clause to return to the NHL following each season.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong met with Sobotka’s agent, Petr Svoboda, at the world championship in the Czech Republic.

The hope is with the decline of Russia’s ruble that Sobotka would consider a return to the NHL.

“I had a good talk with his agent,” Armstrong said. “The agent told me that the money he made last year, they guaranteed him for next year. He’s got two weeks to decide what he’s going to do. I said ‘We’d love to have him back.’ I understand if the economics are so great in the KHL and he has to stay. I respect that. Then we’ll talk again a year from now.”

Sobotka owes the Blues one season at an arbiter-elected salary of $2.7 million. If he decides to remain in the KHL, he and the Blues will be in a similar position next May.

Sobotka has appeared in 247 games with the blues over parts of four seasons scoring 29 goals and 72 assists.