The St. Louis Blues have been without center Vladimir Sobotka for the last two seasons.
When negotiations stalled on restricted free agent talks, the forward – who was acquired by St. Louis in 2010 for defenseman David Warsofsky – opted to head for the KHL instead of remaining in a holdout. He’s been playing for Avangard Omsk ever since, where he’s played a significant role as an offensive point producer.
Last offseason, there were talks that he could be looking to make a return.
Ultimately, those fell through – but now, it sounds like the Blues could be bringing Sobotka back into their fold at long last.
Craig Custance of ESPN reported earlier this week that Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was optimistic about the Czech forward’s return, making it sound like an imminent event:
“Spoke w/Blues GM Doug Armstrong here Monday,” tweeted Custance. “Finalizing paperwork to bring Vladimir Sobotka back: ‘He’s ready to come over.'”
While in North America, Sobotka put up a collective 35 goals and 123 points in 381 career NHL games – so if he’s able to put up that kind of production again, the Blues could be looking at a solid middle six forward to return to their lineup. The departure of both David Backes and Steve Ott saw only Kyle Brodziak head back into the system to serve as a replacement down the middle means that he would be a fantastic asset.
The Blues haven’t officially confirmed the return of their formerly-departed asset, but news on that could potentially be announced within the next few weeks.