The St. Louis Blues won’t be able to count on the services of Vladimir Sobotka this season, but whenever the forward decides to return to the NHL, he will remain property of the Blues under a one year contract worth $2.725 million, thanks to a recent arbitration ruling.
Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Dispatch writes that “Vladimir Sobotka, who will play the 2014-15 season in Russia, received a one-year arbitration award today worth $2,725,000.”
Since Vladimir Sobotka won’t play this season in the NHL, the contract will kick in whenever he returns — if he does indeed return to the NHL.
Sobotka signed a three year, $12 million deal with Omsk of the KHL in Russia, but his overseas contract allows him to opt out in each of the three offseasons should he want to return to the NHL. He originally left for the KHL after a contract standoff with the St. Louis Blues reportedly ended in Sobotka’s camp requesting a trade. Blue GM Doug Armstrong refused to negotiate in that arena or any other once the KHL became involved.
“We have to at least work in somewhat of the framework of the (collective bargaining agreement),” Armstrong said. “If we work outside of that based on people leaving, then everyone will threaten to leave. It’s just bad business for us. We have to do things that are hard decisions and they’re difficult.”
The Blues have since signed Steve Ott to a two-year deal to play in Sobotka’s role. While it’s fair to say Sobotka could very well return to the NHL in a year or two, expect the Blues to honor Sobotka’s original request and deal his rights upon his return to North America.
Tags: St. Louis Blues