Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Have No Plans to Bring Sobotka Back This Season

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Have No Plans to Bring Sobotka Back This Season

Article excerpt

DALLAS * Vladimir Sobotka might be a Blue again one day, but not this season.

Petr Svoboda, Sobotka's agent, told the Post-Dispatch on Friday that he plans to meet with Blues general manager Doug Armstrong perhaps as early as next month to discuss the forward's future with the franchise.

Sobotka left the Blues last July to sign a three-year, $12 million contract with Avangard Omsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, but he has an "out" clause to return to the NHL after each season. The window opens in May.

"Doug was keeping in touch throughout the whole year, what was going on with Vladi's season," Svoboda said. "We believe that we're going to be talking very shortly. We did not make a decision what's going to be happening with him yet. We're going to decide the first week of May."

Sobotka's 2014-15 season in the KHL wrapped up with him missing part of the playoffs with a groin injury. He finished with 10 goals and 38 points in 53 regular-season games and had a goal and an assist in four playoff games.

"He had a really good year," Svoboda said. "The team was OK, but he played great the whole year. The team was very happy with him. He established himself as the best player on the team. He really enjoyed it."

Svoboda said that Sobotka has healed from the groin injury and he recently joined the Czech national team, with whom he will participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Hockey Championships next month in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic.

"He's fine already," Svoboda said. "He's already practicing and skating fully."

There are no plans for Sobotka, 27, to return to the NHL this season, in part because he wants to play in the World Championships in his native country, and because the Blues aren't interested in bringing him back for a partial season.

Sobotka, who played four seasons in St. Louis before going to Russia, owes the Blues one season at a salary of $2.7 million, as ruled by an arbitrator last offseason. …

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