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Armstrong lays out what Blues offered KHL-bound Sobotka

Jul 10, 2014, 12:26 PM EDT

DougArmstrong Getty Images

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong couldn’t confirm today’s report that center Vladimir Sobotka had signed a three-year deal with Omsk of the KHL, at an annual salary of around $4 million.

But what Armstrong did say is this — in June, the Blues offered Sobotka a multi-year deal (three, four, or five years, “at his choice”) at “north of $3 million” per season. The 27-year-old restricted free agent was last offered a one-year deal at $2.7 million per, or a two-year deal at $3 million per.

“Those haven’t got it done to this point,” Armstrong told reporters this morning.

But Armstrong is holding out hope that the player will one day — hopefully soon — be wearing the Blues’ uniform again. And he still intends to attend Sobotka’s arbitration hearing on July 21.

“An award will be given and that will be his contract for the ’14-15 season,” he said. “We hope that he’ll be at training camp under that contract. If he’s in the KHL, that contract will toll until future years.”

According to the aforementioned report, Sobotka’s KHL contract has an out following each season, at which point he can choose to return to the NHL.

Clearly, Armstrong wants Sobotka to know he’d be welcomed back with open arms.

“I just want to emphasize that this is a business decision by Vlad that I respect,” said Armstrong. “It does not change my admiration for him as a man and how he plays and what he’s accomplished and what he’s going to accomplish.

“I don’t want to turn this into a personal thing or get it to that point, because it’s not like that.”

Related: Blues re-sign Steve Ott; Sobotka to KHL?

  1. avscup - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Well played by Armstrong. $4M a year tax free is a lot more money though. Sure I would take less to be in the NHL but I’m not Russian either.

    • wannabebluesplayer - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      Neither is Sobotka. He’s Czech.

      • avscup - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:38 PM

        Oops. $$ still the same, hehe!

    • c9castine - Jul 10, 2014 at 7:04 PM

      hes not russian but for what its worth being czech is also alot different than being american.

      • avscup - Jul 10, 2014 at 7:33 PM


  2. bcsteele - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    He was absolutely offered a fair deal with options. He clearly has some other motivation for his decision be it money or being closer to home. I still don’t think we’ve seen the last of him but who knows. Good on Armstrong to do his best to hang onto a potential asset by filing for arbitration.

    • rsl22 - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      Not that close. Omsk is 2500 miles from Prague, and I’m not sure there are that many direct flights. Also, Omsk is cold and dark in the winter months; Siberia is no picnic in January.

  3. patthehockeyfan - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    “I don’t want to turn this into a personal thing or get it to that point, because it’s not like that.”

    I’ve found that sentences that begin with a denial (such as the one above) are making exactly the point that they’re supposedly denying.

  4. beepbeepbeeplgb - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    way to go army, did all he could. glad he let the fans know that.

  5. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Pretty clear math looking a Capgeek today. Blues had 3,433,333 in cap space. Sobotka had made 1.4m. They also want to sign RFA Jaden Schwartz, who was at 900K. Armstrong had little left after winning the Stasney bidding. Roy and Morrow not signed.

    Conclusion: Blues will be very good, and are anything but a lock for the Central given where Hawks, Wild and Stars are now.

  6. ducksk - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Ok, he’s Czech, but, NEVER. EVER. TRUST THE RUSSIANS. Ever. See Gen George S. Patton

    • patthehockeyfan - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      See Vladimir Putin

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Are you implying that the arrival of unnamed but organized forces with anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns, along with tanks was not a localized ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine and the Crimea spontaneous thing?

        Say it sin’t so!

      • patthehockeyfan - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        Of course! You forgot to mention the uniforms. Of course they were local, ethnic Russians. Probably farmers. Farmers who kept tanks in their barns these many years. And, farmers who are not only amazingly skilled with scythes; but, with machine guns, too.

  7. frankiesweep - Jul 10, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Will he tape his cash pay to his body so he doesn’t get robbed?

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