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Difference between Sobotka and Blues was $300,000, says agent

Jul 11, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 21: Vladimir Sobotka #17 of the St. Louis Blues takes the puck in the first period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on January 21, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The agent for Vladimir Sobotka says that the St. Louis Blues could’ve had his client for $300,000 more than the club was offering on a one-year deal.

“[Blues general manager Doug Armstrong] started at $2.4 million (for one season) and he came up to $2.7 million, so he gave me his best number,” agent Petr Svoboda told the Post-Dispatch. “We were at one year, $3 million. So basically it was over $300,000. There was no room for negotiation. It was one year at $2.7 (million) — take it.”

Instead, Sobotka is bound for the KHL, where he’ll play at least one season with Avangard Omsk.

Armstrong said yesterday that the Blues offered Sobotka a multi-year deal in June (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.

The Blues were willing to give Sobotka more per season on a multi-year deal, as he only had one season remaining before he could become an unrestricted free agent. But they weren’t willing to give him enough, apparently.

Sobotka will still have an arbitration hearing on July 21.

“An award will be given and that will be his contract for the ’14-15 season,” Armstrong 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.”


  1. pjblake2redwings - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Armstrong is a fool. You just lost a great player for 300k

    • bcsteele - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      They were willing to give him a higher amount at longer term beforehand..what do you think happened? I’m sure as soon as Armstrong realized there was a chance he’d loose him he went after Ott to make sure he didn’t have a center spot void. Then, he had less to offer Soby cause he still has to take care of Jaden as well. Soby should have taken the multi-year deal.

      Just my opinion though…

      • pj608 - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        Hey BCSTEELE. WHAT DID I TELL YOU, YOU STUPID F**K. Maybe now dumbasses like you will listen next time i say something on here. Hows that little CBA piece of paper holding up now CLOWN?

    • avscup - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Why is it always the team or GM that is the fool? They have to manage many contracts and a cap. The individual only has to manage one. So otaku could have been on a great team with lots of potential for a great number!

      If you read into the story where it says Sobotka could have had a multi year deal at north of $3M per year it begins to look like just another greedy athlete. Look at the business side of it and it’s not so simple as just pay the player what he wants.

      • hosewater2 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        And the player and his incompetent agent could have just taken $300k less to stay in a better league. There’s an opportunity cost to going KHL, when he decides to come back his market value may be less, he may get hurt, etc.

      • thesportsjudge - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        His market value could go down, or he could get hurt in the NHL too.

      • paperlions - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        I would be willing to bet that the differences in per diem, travel, cities, and hotels used by NHL and KHL teams amount to pretty close to $300K in value over the course of a season. Sure, the paycheck may be better over there this year, but is the experience that comes with it worth the difference?

        Maybe, maybe not.

        I love Sobotka as a player. But let’s be honest, he’s the feisty guy you love to root for that does a lot of the little things that help a team win, but that doesn’t often result in such players being difference makers as those skills are often easier to replace to others.

      • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:40 AM

        Why is is the team or the GM that is the fool?

        Because their job is to get players and pay them what they deserve. Not let them go oversees to a potential threat league like the KHL. There are many players that have went there and there will be many more. Past 3 years or so was just the beginning. NHL will have to up the Cap space once again next year to try and compete with them.

        I predict that in the next 10-20 years (if the NHL doesn’t straighten their stuff out) There will be two leagues. The NHL and the KHL whom will meet for a championship. North American skaters vs the European Skaters. Will it happen? Maybe. Can I be wrong?… Absolutely. But either way the league will not be the same with out the Swedish, Rusians and all the other European countries as it were.

        Think of all the Talent we would have miss out on in past years if they were the case….. Jaromir Jagr, Pavel Bure, Pavel Datsyuk, Ovechkin, Malkin, Peter Forsberg, Henrik Zetterberg, Teemu Selanne, Patrik Elias,Bic Lidstrom, Anze Kopitar, Segei Federov, Kozlov, Dominic Hasek. This list can go on and on and on…. Yes the US and Canada have great players. That is a given but the league would not be the same. It is exiting for us as NHL fans to see a guy with a shot like Kovalchuk no matter what team you are a fan of. Even if you just watch the replays of players of that caliber you say to yourself “DAMN, Thats insane”.

        There are so many Pavel Datsyuk fans across the world that I would be 95% of them aren’t even Red Wings fans.

    • avscup - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      Holland seems the fool.

      • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:43 AM

        No, You are a fool.

      • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:01 AM

        The NHL makes so much money annually that they can up the salary cap more and more…. They are risking losing it all if they don’t get their act together. As a Hockey player and a Hockey fan for over 25 years I always was baffled by how Basketball, Baseball and even NFL players make more money than an NHL Hockey Player makes, I have played every one of those sports. Yes Football is tough on your body but you don’t play nearly as many games, Even MLB players who play all of those games their body doesn’t take a toll on you like it does in hockey.

        It is a shame, these players are well underpaid. I know its easy for guys like you whom sit at home reading all these articles, stat sheets and this and that to over look and say “oh!!!! he makes 8 million dollars a year???? I wish i could make that much!” but the PLAYERS are watching guys like Lebron James flop on the basketball court making 29 million a year? Or even a guy like Aqib Talib sit on the side lines DURING THE PLAYOFFS making nearly 14 million a year while guys like Stamkos take a slap shot to the face…. go in the back room and putting on a face shield so he can finish out the game while making 8 million per year. Yes, I know there are bonus’ but look at how much a guy like lebron makes off the court….. Dude makes probably triple what he does on the court off of it.

        NHL players are over looked and under paid. It is plain and simple. Now a league like the KHL is trying to do the right thing an pay these guys. All i hear from people like you when you say “hes greedy. he just wants money.” Well guess what Einstein…. If your manager at McDonalds or where ever it is you work at said ‘hey, i know we are only paying you 5 dollars and hour here but if you would move to our facility out in Nebraska we will pay you 30 dollars an hour there” Your little neurotic brain would hop, spin and jump on that plane in about 30 seconds.

        Learn to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before your judging eyes lays down the mallet.

      • avscup - Jul 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM

        I’ve put myself in your shoes and I am wondering if you are still in grade school?

        All the typos, grammatical errors….sheesh.
        And then there is your logic. Clearly you don’t comprehend Sobotka’s contract negotiations. Did you miss the part where was offered more and longer terms? He went full retard!

        I’m sure you can relate!

      • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        obviously! I mean why wouldnt he take more money???

    • rmccleary97 - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      So … why were Svoboda and Sobotka only looking for a 1-year deal if Armstrong had put 3-5 years on the table for “north of $3 million?” Simple – Sobotka would have been UFA going into next offseason. He would have hit the FA market, hit other teams up asking for 4-5 years at $4-4.5 million per (or more) – and someone would have ponied it up (and it wouldn’t have been the Blues).

      If Sobotka had intentions of sticking around with the ‘Note, he would have taken longer term and more dollars in the short-run – even if it meant giving up a few dollars he might have picked up in free agency. In this case, it was all about the money – especially long-term.

    • blomfeld - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:24 AM

      May God see to it that the ‘primates’ of Saint Louis are finally released from their bondage …

      signed, SC Champion LA Kings Nation :) :) :)

  2. esracerx46 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Sobotka does everything you want. Not great on the scoresheet, but provides secondary scoring. I think 3 million was probably a bargain price and yet you essentially insulted him. That’s why he left before arbitration.

  3. jpelle82 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    stastny’s raise was just 400k, avs couldn’t make that happen or just chose not to? just goes to show its not monopoly money these gm’s are playing with, there’s tough decisions that have to be made every year..

    • hosewater2 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Avs are ultimately going to end up losing both Stastny and ROR. Only question is if they lose ROR for nothing too. Seems like they’re willing to die on the hill of “Everyone Makes Less Than Duchene” and the rest of the league will benefit.

  4. trbowman - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Should’ve ponied up. They’ll miss him.

    • avscup - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      Not really! Too much depth at center and too many others to sign. Mackinnon will be looking soon!

      • thesportsjudge - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:12 AM


      • avscup - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        I misread the post above and thought he was talking about Stastny.

      • thesportsjudge - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        I will give credit to you for owning up to that.

  5. hosewater2 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    This is being painted to look bad on the Blues only, but both parties are to blame.

    Svoboda just committed his client to playing in a 2nd world country in a lesser league over $300k. Sobotka just agreed to an exodus over $300k. Those are alternate headlines for this same story.

    • jhmiddleton81 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      I 1000% agree, he is a very solid player, a player I would love to have on the Leafs, but come on dude, really? Over $300,000? Honestly you can make that back in bonuses if your team makes it to the Finals. I don’t get how you think playing in a second tier league is worth only $300,000 more, like I would get it if they offered him $5.5 million a year but not only 300k more that’s a joke

    • dirt2013 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Would you go over there for a 300,000 year raise? I would without a doubt even forgetting that it is tax free.

      • hosewater2 - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        Would you go over there for a 10% raise? I would not. But I wouldn’t move to Detroit or Pittsburgh for a 10% raise either.

      • avscup - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        He signed a $4M deal in the KHL. Tax free, so In reality it is way more than the $2.7 but still, NHL or KHL?

  6. nyrnashty - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Since when does a 4th line center get all this hype? Enough of this dude already.

  7. bleedblue27 - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    This is completely not true…Vlad doesn’t even have an active agent. Also its pretty stupid to leave the greatest country in the world over $300,000 and go play for the Russian Mafia. Had a lot of respect for Vlad, dumb move on his part.

    • paperlions - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      The NHL is the greatest hockey league in the world. NHL hockey is played in 2 countries, and neither is the greatest country in the world.

      • bleedblue27 - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        You must be Canadian then

      • paperlions - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        No. I’ve traveled.

      • devilsmetsgiants - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:38 PM

        What are the Top 5 countries?

      • paperlions - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        Provide evidence that the US is the best country.

      • devilsmetsgiants - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Kate Upton

      • paperlions - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Damn. You win.

      • paperlions - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Seriously, that is like checkmate on the first move.

      • i1theinternet - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        Switzerland is the greatest country in the world. Everyone else is playing for second place.

    • elrock7 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Greatest country in the world? Doubt it, your cities are slowly going bankrupt, violent crime is through the roof, losing control of the Mexican border, and you cant even order a Bloody Caesar!

  8. purpleguy - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    I wonder if the taxes over there are better? There’s also the going home factor. Kind of weird that they parted ways over only $300K, which with an NHL Cap north of $70M, is actually more like monopoly money.

  9. djshnooks - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Armstrong is the fool? This kid just gave up the NHL for the KHL for $300,000!

    Who’s the fool?

    He shouldn’t get another chance.

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

    None of them should. If you leave the NHL, see ya…enjoy slipping away to obscurity in a lesser league.

  11. devilsmetsgiants - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    $300,000 here, $300,000 there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

  12. ray2013 - Jul 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    He led the League in faceoffs. He did all the little things right. So it wasn’t just 300k, there were teams interested in trading for him. How badly could they have fleeced the oilers in a trade, a team that valued him quite highly as a potential #2C?

    • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:30 AM

      People are ignorant ray.

  13. bucfanforlife - Jul 11, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    lifelong blues fan he does a lot of the little things yes, but in the nhl every team has these guys he will be replaced and the blues wont skip a beat

    • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:27 AM

      the blues may replace him but it will not be this season… They lacked centers last year along with half of their roster it seemed but now you are missing another center which would of been your third line center… If it were the way it should have been Backes, Stastny, Sobotka and then Berglund on the 4th line where he belongs…. is now not there. Your first two lines will be great but…. most of the big goals come play off time are from your 3rd and 4th line. Top lines are usually canceled out because the players are so good they can play against any one and take them out of the game. That is why you need depth.

      Believe what you want but this will hurt STL a lot more than you guys think.

  14. pj608 - Jul 11, 2014 at 5:29 PM


    Your Welcome you ignorant F***k BAGS. Next time i say something dont be so critical and act like you know everything because of what a F***ing millionth of an inch PIECE OF PAPER SAYS. You clowns read too much. You know nothing….. KEEP READING KEEP READING.

    • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 11, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      Delete your account and go back to Yahoo, where trolls like you belong. Your comments are idiotic.

    • mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 6:21 AM

      I dont know how everyone hates this guys comments, yes he may be wrong here and there but obviously the guy was right. Is Sobotka still in STL like you all believed he was bound to do? No…. hes not. Hes in the KHL.

  15. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 12, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    Hmmm, so he makes a lot more for 1 year, then comes back? Looking at how we cluelessly have “progressive” taxes here, and if income is not taxed in Russia, he just did a nest egg thing, as who knows when you may have a career ending injury.

  16. mb30forlife - Jul 13, 2014 at 5:44 AM

    I knew STL wasn’t going to be able to keep both Sobotka and Schwartz…. Both deserve money and one would walk. Was hoping some how he would end up in NJ but what can ya do. I am sure he will be back in the league at some point

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