This is part of St. Louis Blues day at PHT…
September is rapidly approaching, and the St. Louis Blues still don’t know if a fairly important player will return to their mix or stay in the KHL.
In this specific case, the confusion revolves around Vladimir Sobotka.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that GM Doug Armstrong said he’s still under the impression that the 29-year-old forward is coming back to the Blues. That’s the stance even though Russian reports from sources including Champion.at indicate that Sobotka may just remain where he is.
St. Louis Game Time’s sub-headline really captures the spirit of the situation:
There should not be this much drama concerning a third-line center.
Indeed, the thing is, Sobotka isn’t likely to be a tide-turning piece one way or another. He’s not the sort of player who will invalidate any Blues day materials if he manages to suit up for St. Louis.
That’s not to say that he can’t help the Blues, mind you.
With David Backes out of town and head coach Ken Hitchcock readying to rely on some younger forwards, Sobotka could serve as a security blanket of sorts.
He is unlikely to light scoreboards on fire – whether he’s in the KHL or NHL – but solid possession stats from his two most recent seasons in the NHL (2012-13 and 2013-14) back up the impression that his return would be welcome.
Honestly, it’s risky to pencil him into the Blues lineup at this point. Like the Blues themselves, we’ll just have to see how the situation shakes out.