Vladimir Sobotka has spend the last two seasons in the KHL after an arbitration hearing didn't give him the payday that he felt that he deserved. After much speculation late last month regarding a return, Sobotka's agent is now confirming (but not officially - we all know how that goes) that Sobotka will be back with the Blues next season.
#stlblues GM Doug Armstrong says he spoke to Sobotka's agent today and he is coming back to the club.— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) July 8, 2016
This move fills out the top nine, as Kyle Brodziak's re-signing has the fourth line center position filled. Is Sobe the center that needs to be playing with Tarasenko? No. Will we probably see them on the same line? Yes, because Sobotka was a noted favorite of Ken Hitchcock. Despite his lack of consistent offensive power, Sobotka drove possession and production with a consistently excellent faceoff percentage.
Army wants 10 top-nine forwards. As of now, they are Tarasenko, Stastny, Steen, Lehtera, Schwartz, Berglund, Fabbri, Jaskin, Perron, Sobotka— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) July 1, 2016
With ten top-nine forwards, someone's going to be in the press box. Ot of that group, it'll be Jaskin. Sorry, Dmitrij.
That top ten also isn't exactly a heavy group. David Backes' departure has shifted the dynamic of the team significantly; however, that group of ten is fairly versatile and will probably lend itself well to Hitch's mixing and matching. You've been warned.