Vladimir Sobotka is known to many St. Louis Blues fans as the “little guy with gumption”, but they may have a longer wait ahead of them before he can make his return to the Blues.
It was assumed during the NHL offseason that Vladimir Sobotka would be lacing up his skates at the Scottrade Center to join his teammates when preseason kicks off in just over a week, but due to current contract issues with the Avangard Omsk of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), he may not be returning to St. Louis just yet. As of right now, both parties have been in communication regarding Sobotka returning to the Blues for the 2016-17 season, but progress has stalled.
“It’s been going on for five months, so I’ve had enough of it. I’m not thinking about it. It’s just getting ready for workouts. I don’t want to think about it anymore.” Sobotka said during media day for the World Cup of Hockey
Sobotka, who is currently representing the Czech Republic team in the World Cup of Hockey, would be providing a strong physical presence for the Blues if he returned, which they are lacking after losing veterans David Backes, Troy Brouwer and Steve Ott to free agency over the summer. Sobotka, who stands 5’10” and just under 200lbs, was a strong asset to the Blues third and fourth lines when he played in the NHL. He was never afraid to drop the gloves or deliver a big hit regardless of the size of the player he was up against. Though the NHL is beginning to trend away from fighting, delivering a big hit can still provide a team with a much needed momentum boost in a game.
Vladimir Sobotka last played for the St. Louis Blues during the 2013-2014 season in which he notched 9 goals and 24 assists in 61 games. Sobotka had 18 goals and 16 assists last year with the Avangard Omsk in the KHL.
St. Louis Blues’ general manager Doug Armstrong is still hopeful to have Sobotka in the lineup for the 2016-17 season, but as of right now, “the little guy with gumption” is a question mark for the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues will open up their regular season in Chicago against the Blackhawks on October 12.