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Vladimir Sobotka Expected To Return To NHL

Brace yourselves for the return of Sobe.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Vladimir Sobotka last played for the St. Louis Blues in the 2014 playoffs. That postseason, an arbitrator awarded him a $2.725 million contract, which wasn't as much as Sobotka would get paid in the KHL. Sobe, despite sometimes inexplicable perceived preferential treatment by coach Ken Hitchcock, saw "no other way out" and wanted a team that respected him (?) hightailed it to Avangard Omsk, potting 72 points in 97 games and earning a spot on this year's Czech World Cup of Hockey roster. His NHL point totals are significantly less impressive.

Well, now the prospect of actually getting paid what he is owed is too great a lure for Sobotka, who is eyeing a return to the NHL (and probably the Blues, who own his rights) next seasonThe Blues were happy to replace Sobotka with Steve Ott; now maybe they'll get a chance to replace Ott with Sobotka, who honestly is a better puck possession player overall. After Sobotka left, Hitch had this to say about him as compared to Ott:

"They're different players, but what we lose in Soby, the speed and patience with the puck, we balance that with the way we play and the way Ott fits ... The nice thing about both Soby and Ott is they can play anywhere in your lineup -- left wing, center, right wing, third line, first line, up and down the lineup. I think it balances out. What we're really grateful for is Doug kept the lines of communication open with Steve and his camp."

"First line."

Welcome back soon, Sobe.