Brace yourselves for the return of Vladimir Sobotka, everyone.
Everybody’s favorite third/fourth line center with decent face off numbers (which, in the absence of Paul Stastny, would be beneficial) canceled his contract with Omsk of the KHL, and may be returning to the Blues for the playoffs.
St. Louis fans probably grit their teeth every time Vladimir Sobotka’s name is mentioned, but overseas sources indicate a reunion appears closer than ever. His KHL contract was terminated earlier this week. He owes the Blues another year, but word is the team was not interested in having him play just a few games to “burn” it. Instead, it asked for him to sign an extension and there appears to be progress. Yes, I know we’ve heard this before, so we’ll see where it goes.
He was rumored to be returning at the start of this season, but contractual obligations kept him in the KHL.
Sobotka hasn’t played for the Blues since 2013-2014, in which he had a line of 9-24-33, which isn’t terrible but also isn’t earth-shattering. Sobotka has been in Doug Armstrong’s crosshairs for a while, but the roster seems full enough as is. The Blues have played fairly decently without both Stastny and the recently returned Jori Lehtera; it’s hard to believe that the addition of Sobotka at the expense of a player who is earning his ice time would be beneficial for the team.
Sobotka’s a perfectly fine player when utilized correctly, and with Ken Hitchcock gone chances are good that he would be put to better use under Mike Yeo. But to put him to good use you have to put him on the ice, and it’s uncertain how much impact that will have on the Blues.