Sobotka still having ‘issues’ with return to NHL

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After two years in the KHL with Omsk Avangard, it still remains to be seen if Vladimir Sobotka will make his NHL return to the St. Louis Blues in 2016-17.

The holdup is related to his KHL contract, which has one year left on it. He was expected to opt out of that final year, but clearly the process hasn’t been so easy.

“We’re still talking and we’ll see what’s going to happen during the World Cup,” said Sobotka, per ESPN.com. “After that, I think we’re going to be smarter. It’s been going on for five months and I’ve had enough of it. It’s my agent’s job to to keep talking and we’ll see.”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed via the Associated Press that Sobotka was having “issues” returning to the Blues.

It will not be a crippling blow to the Blues if they can’t get the 29-year-old center back, but it will be disappointing all the same. Head coach Ken Hitchcock, for instance, has talked about the “great chemistry” between Sobotka and winger Jaden Schwartz.

Sobotka had nine goals and 24 assists in 61 games for the Blues in 2013-14, his last season in the NHL before jumping to the KHL.

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