It might sound like Vladimir Sobotka’s staying in Russia but, according to Blues GM Doug Armstrong, nothing’s official yet:
Blues GM Doug Armstrong says he has NOT received confirmation from Sobotka’s agent that he’ll stay in the KHL and called reports “premature”
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) June 11, 2015
The report Armstrong’s referring to appeared in late May, and came courtesy Avangard Omsk’s team website. It shot down the notion that Sobotka would be returning to St. Louis next season; upon signing a three-year pact with Omsk following an arbitration hearing with Blues last summer, the Sobotka camp negotiated an “out” clause which paved the way for a potential North America return at the culmination of any KHL campaign.
There’s no denying the Blues are interested in said return. Sobotka’s departure from St. Louis came on the heels of his best NHL season, in which he scored nine goals and 33 points in 61 games.
Armstrong has been in contact with the Sobotka camp this offseason and spoke with agent Petr Svoboda during the World Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic (Sobotka represented the Czechs in the tourney, scoring four points in 10 games.)
“I had a good talk with his agent,” Armstrong said at the time. “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.”