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Blues re-sign Ott; Sobotka to KHL?

Jul 10, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT

Steve Ott Getty Images

Steve Ott is staying in St. Louis. The veteran forward has signed a two-year, $5.2 million contract with the Blues, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch.

In a possibly related story, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun is “hearing” that restricted free agent Vladimir Sobotka, who the Blues were taking to arbitration, has signed with Omsk of the KHL.

Ott had no goals and just three assists in 23 regular-season games for the Blues after he was traded from Buffalo, along with Ryan Miller, in February. The 31-year-old followed up with no goals and two assists in six playoff games, as St. Louis fell to Chicago in the first round.

But Ott was not signed to lead the Blues in scoring. He’s good in the faceoff circle and led St. Louis in hits (29) during the postseason. A former captain of the Sabres, he’s also considered a leader.

Whether that’s worth $5.2 million over two years, well, apparently general manager Doug Armstrong believes it is. Especially, we suppose, if Sobotka is off to the KHL.

  1. bcsteele - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    If Soby is off to the KHL I might cry. We’ll miss him; especially in the playoffs.

  2. nunan - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Want Sobotka back on the Bruins

  3. raleighcaniac - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Obviously Ott looked at Buffalo and laughed.

    • bullwinkle88 - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      No you fool. We wanted to come back here but there was no room.

      • bullwinkle88 - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        Sorry, “He” wanted to come back here…as many former Sabres do.

    • shutmdownd - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      “Obviously” you’re a moron who has no idea what you’re talking about…

    • cantescapekarma - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      Tim Murray felt there was not room for Ott in this current line up. He likes the leadership group Buffalo has. But a potential trade would have sent one of our leaders to another team which would have created room for Ott to come back in. The trade never happened, so Ott signed in St. Louis. The reason it took this long is because Ott was waiting for Buffalo.
      Steve Ott’s agent actually said that Buffalo was #1 on his list…

    • drewsylvania - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Maybe Buffalo looked at Ott and laughed.

  4. beepbeepbeeplgb - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    man, that really sucks. he’s one of my favorites. should have just paid him instead of berglund…

  5. lowenni - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Why? I like Sobotka a lot and Ott is a character guy but seems replaceable…they could’ve used that money to resign Sobotka, and even if they didn’t want him, he could be used as a nice trade chip. Guess this means Buffalo doesn’t want Ott back either. I’m confused.

  6. pjblake2redwings - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    wow why would Sobotka go to the KHL when there are tons of teams who would offer him pretty good coin.

    • dueman - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      You do understand that he is a Restricted Free Agent, right? The only “tons of teams who could offer him pretty good coin” are in the KHL, unless a team in the NHL is willing to throw an offer sheet at him, which hasn’t happened (yet). For what they would have to offer to pull him away, and of course, the draft picks that they would have to give up in return, I just don’t see it happening, especially with what a team could potentially be giving away with those draft picks in the next draft….

  7. hanspard - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    This must not be about the money, he must just flat WANT to head back overseas. Guess you can’t fault a guy for that, but man am I gonna miss him.

    • dueman - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      Why “must” this not be about the money? Some people really like money you know…

  8. jhnyr45 - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    wish Sobotka went to the rangers

  9. bluesdroogie - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    This is an absolute stupid move by the Blues. Letting Sobotka go to the KHL. We are not behind the scenes so maybe Sobotka wanted a different role on the team than a 3rd line center at best. Way to go Army, you just let one of the most if not THE most underrated player in the league walk. He did everything the Blues have asked of him, pk, center whatever line they needed him to, play wing, etc, etc. I would rather have Sobotka than Berglund. I guess with Berglund being Oshie’s best friend you have to keep the revenue maker happy(oshie).

    Vladdy you will be missed severely.

    I don’t mind Ott. He is one of those guys you hate to play against but like when he is on your team. But to sign Ott and lose Sobotka? Sorry Ott, I would sign Sobotka in a heartbeat. Besides Steen, Sobotka was the heart and soul of the Blues. TRUE Blues fans really understand what Sobotka brought to the team game in and game out.

    • rmccleary97 - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      The Blues didn’t “let Sobotka go to the KHL.” Sobotka decided to do that on his own, for whatever reasons he had; it’s not like the Blues could have put a contract in front of him and said “… and you *will* sign this or else” or forged his name to a contract to keep him.

      However, if Armstrong had an inkling that Sobotka might be jumping ship, it would explain his decision to file for arbitration – that way, he can get an award and if/when Sobotka comes back, he’d have to play it out to become UFA.

      • bcsteele - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        That my friend is a very good point…

      • bluesdroogie - Jul 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        i wasn’t saying that the blues just let him walk but with out reading the other story about it, I was saying I would have done a lot to try and keep him a blue. He is vital to the team and I would have done what ever in my power to get him signed to remain a blue.

        I understand the ultimately it was his decision to sign in the khl. I am not that thick.

      • rmccleary97 - Jul 10, 2014 at 8:16 PM

        You can’t say “the Blues were stupid to let him go” – especially after seeing the other article … but let’s play along and say they should have “done whatever in [their] power to get him signed and remain a blue.” From the other story: 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.

        If he wasn’t going to bite on that, then what? Offer him $4 million or more per? There was only about $6 million in cap space left for this year, and there’s still Schwartz to sign; if you give Sobotka $4M per that leaves $2M for Schwartz, who likely takes a 1-year deal and goes into next season as an arbitration-eligible RFA *and* in line for a huge raise if he posted another 25-31-56 season … at a point in time when you’d also have to deal with Tarasenko (RFA), Allen (arbitration-eligible RFA), Cole (arbitration-eligible RFA) and Jackman (UFA – no, the Blues aren’t likely to just let him walk).

        There’s only about $19M in cap space left for ’15-16 (ignoring the Ott signing, assuming no increase in the cap, with only 12 players signed) – and if you screw up Sobotka and overpay to keep him at all costs, you risk having to shell out something like $6M+ to Schwartz and then get wedged up against the cap after dealing with the other 4, with spots that still have to be filled on the roster.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have Sobotka than Ott (I’d rather not have Ott if last season is any indication of what to expect the next 2 years), but the Blues tried. If Sobotka wasn’t interested, I fail to see what else Armstrong could have done that wouldn’t have caused near-term cap problems – and given the choice between the two, I’d much rather have #9 than #17 going forward.

      • bluesdroogie - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:14 AM

        this is the first I had read of any talks with Sobotka. I had not heard any terms or lengths. After reading the other article, it seems Army had done exactly what I hoped he would have done. It seems they offered length(3-5) with a salary of over 3 mill. That is a good deal for Sobotka. I am not much into figuring out the salaries for the entire team but I understand cap issues and crippling a team with a contract. I would have expected Sobotka to make about 3 for 3-5 as I hope Schwartz signs a similar contract.

        For the other players you mentioned.
        Tarasenko – we need to resign before the end of next season
        Allen – Lets see how he does and more than likely resign to a longer/higher deal
        Cole -This should be about his last chance with the Blues and may be traded at the deadline
        Jackman – will take another hometown discount to stay if the Blues still want him around. I see him very possibly finishing his career here. He did so for his last contract and stated then he did not want to leave. I would not mind keeping him here as a 5-6 option for a shutdown role and leadership.

  10. bluesdroogie - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    The Ott signing? This just smells of Hitch’s doing. Coached him in Dallas. Wasn’t Armstrong there as well? The St. Louis/Dallas connection remains. I do like Ott. Just funny with the whole Dallas thing. Actually I guess its not that funny. We Want The Cup!!!!!!!!!!! We need goal scorers.

  11. bullwinkle88 - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    We needed him here in Buffalo but Murray took back McCormick (who also wanted to return, just as Moulson did) instead. I’d rather have Ott than McCormick.

  12. drewsylvania - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Jack Edwards is a buffoon, but he did correctly refer to Steve Ott as “a knee-seeking missile.”

    • rednuthatch - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      You should have stopped at ‘Jack Edwards is a buffoon’.
      Ott has no reputation for injuring knees; you just don’t like him.

      • drewsylvania - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        Guess you haven’t watched much Sabres hockey.

  13. r8rbhawk - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Sorry Blues fans, as a Hawks fan, I couldn’t be happier Sobotka is going to the KHL. One less threat to worry about.

    • gret9 - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      I was thinking the same thing. Dude always seemed to be a thorn in the side against Chicago.

  14. rabidbillsfan - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Great, now all of these weird Sabres fans who wanted Ott back can fade into, well, wherever they came from. There is a reason Ott isn’t in Buffalo. It has nothing to do with Steve and everything to do with Murray. You don’t bring in guys like Gionta, Gorges and Moulson just to throw a turd in the punch bowl like Ott. Don’t get me wrong, he is a solid leader, but not for the team we are building here in Buffalo. McCormick is back to fill the extra forward role, that’s it. You really think Ott would have been thrilled to be sitting in the press box on more nights than not? Ott also has the reputation of not backing up what he spews out on the ice, and sometimes it leads to those players getting chippy with the young guys, again, not what we want here. Buffalo is better off without him, and St. Louis is probably better with him, albeit losing out on Sobotka.

    • rednuthatch - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Everybody’s got an opinion. Yours is no better than that of anyone else. Ott is a hard worker and a good leader. Turd? I don’t think so.

      • rabidbillsfan - Jul 11, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        Well, I guess your opinion of Ott is no better then that of anybody else, right? Seriously though, You misinterpreted my entire post, but it’s ok. Gionta will absolutely be lettered, Gorges is a possibility. Then you will need to throw one on a guy that’s here, Stafford, Ennis, Hodgson, Girgensons etc. So what would have been the point to bring back Steve Ott. He played a 3rd line center role on a team that went through 2 coaching changes, a GM change, and finished dead last in the standings. He finished the season with 20 points in 59 games for the Sabres, and added 3 assists to the Blues. He was a -38, so while he may be good at faceoffs, he get’s taken advantage of quite a bit. I mean, I guess my “opinions” don’t have enough facts to back them up, so maybe throwing “I don’t think so” at the end of my sentence will clear it up for everybody.

  15. djshnooks - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Buffalo was never bringing Ott back, there is no room for him, and McCormick fills that role, as he is much bigger than Ott, and actually had a better shooting % last year.

    I’d take Gionta over Ott as captain every single time, it’s not even a question.

  16. ronniethec - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Who has????

  17. bluesdroogie - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    At Least we retain Sobotka’s rights, and if he has an opt out clause at the end of each season. So if his team does not make the playoffs he could opt out and possibly sign a deal to play with the Blues towards the end of the year correct? Isn’t that what Radulov did when he came back to Nashville?

  18. sharksfan97 - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    Sobotka and Hertl are good friends. Love to see Sobotka in SJ someday…

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