Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Agent: Vladimir Sobotka Left St. Louis Blues Over $300K

St. Louis Blues center Vladimir Sobotka shocked many on Thursday morning with the announcement that he would depart the NHL to play for Omsk of the KHL in 2014-15 due to a financial discrepancy with the Blues. St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Jeremy Rutherford talked to Sobotka’s agent, Petr Svoboda, on Thursday night, and the results were interesting to say the least. Here’s Rutherford’s summary of his conversation with Svoboda:

 

While the first reaction of many Blues fans will be to blame Blues management for letting a valuable asset like Sobotka walk over $300,000, it’s rather ridiculous that a player would decide to leave the league over such a small amount of money (at least in professional sports terms). Especially since he was on a team that has been as successful as the Blues, it says a lot about his priorities that he was willing to depart over what essentially is just pride. Sobotka will be paid $4 million a year in Russia, but if he was willing to stay in America for $3 million, then it must be all about the money for him. And while he’s an improving player that brought great physicality and success in the face-off circle, his nine goals and 24 assists plus his propensity for getting injured, as he did during the Blues’ late-season tailspin, are not qualities that make him deserving of being one of the team’s higher-paid players. So while the Blues probably could have done more to keep Sobotka–they could have avoided re-signing Steve Ott and added $400,000 onto the $2.6 million they’re paying him yearly to satisfy Sobotka–they set out their terms, and Sobotka doesn’t look good for being so inflexible over such a trivial matter.

Tags: St. Louis Blues Vladimir Sobotka

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