Though his contract issues still haven’t been resolved, Vladimir Sobotka is listed on the Blues’ training camp roster.
There’s been plenty of drama all summer surrounding forward Vladimir Sobotka’s potential return to the NHL after two seasons playing in the KHL. The 29-year-old Sobotka decided to defect to the KHL after a contract dispute back in 2014, and though he’s reportedly planning to come back to the Blues this season, he still must find a way to get out of the final year of his KHL contract.
Despite the fact that he still hasn’t opted out of his KHL contract or signed his NHL contract for this season–one that will be for one year and $2.725 million, per the terms of his arbitration hearing with the Blues two summers ago, Sobotka was listed on the Blues’ training camp roster, which was officially released on Thursday afternoon.
After having his number 17 re-issued to Jaden Schwartz–who wears it to honor his sister, Mandi, who tragically died of cancer in 2011–Sobotka will wear number 9 in his return to the Blues, per the roster. That’s the number Schwartz wore before making the change, and it’s been worn by Steve Ott for the past two seasons.
Since departing the NHL, where he never had double-digit goals in a season and topped out at 33 points in 2013-14, Sobotka has posted career-best numbers while overseas. He had 10 goals and 28 assists over 53 games for Omsk Avangard in 2014-15, then collected 18 goals and 16 assists in 44 games for Omsk last season.