Thursday, April 6, 2017

Blues Add Sobotka for Playoffs, and Extend him Through 2020

The St. Louis Blues have added a former Blue for the playoffs.

The team signed Vladimir Sobotka, who just bought himself out of the last three weeks of his three-year KHL deal, to join the Blues form the final games of the regular season and the playoff push.

The 29-year-old Czech last played with the Blues in 2013-14. In seven NHL seasons with the Bruins and the Blues, Sobotka netted 35 NHL goals and 123 points. For the last three seasons Sobotka has been with Omsk Avangard of the KHL, where he picked up 102 points in 138 games.

Because he owed the Blues a year of service due to previous arbitration, Sobotka will burn that year in his limited time with the Club this season. On July 1, his three-year, $10.5 million extension will kick in.

GM Doug Armstrong said that he tried to lock Sobotka up after his last deal expired three years ago, but the Czech did not want to sign a one-year deal, which was all that was on the table.

"We tried to keep an open line of communication with each other, and I think that paid off in the end -- nobody said anything that was damaging to the long-term relationship," Armstrong said.

Armstrong is looking forward to seeing Sobotka back in the NHL. In addition to his offense, he's also a highly regarded face-off man.

"When he signed in the KHL it was as a top offensive player," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing how his game has evolved... If we just get the exact same player back who left that's a player that's getting about almost half a point a game, plays with a little bit of snarl. I think the game has evolved too, to his style of play, it's got a little bit of quickness -- he can get in on the forecheck, play with an edge."