The St. Louis Blues have announced that they have are taking the feisty forward Vladimir Sobotka to team-elected salary arbitration.
Although arbitration seems to be something of a dirty word in the NHL, it appears that this may be the best solution for both sides leading into the 2014-15 season. When the team elects to take a player to arbitration, they have already agreed to pay the player at least what he made in the previous season, which for Sobotka means at least $1.4 million. By taking this course of action, the Blues are essentially guaranteeing that they will reach a resolution by the beginning of August when hearings finally conclude. This will give the Blues and Sobotka enough time to get into hockey mode and prepare for the upcoming season.
For Sobotka arbitration is a positive as well as he will be in control of how long of a contract he is willing to sign. With the option to choose a one or two year deal, Sobotka actually has more control than if the Blues simply offered a take it or leave it deal.
The good news for fans is that by filing for arbitration, the Blues have protected themselves from losing Sobotka to an offer sheet or having a contract dispute drag on into training camp or the regular season. Surely GM Doug Armstrong’s intention is to continue to negotiate with Sobotka and his agent with the goal of getting a contract signed before any court date is necessary.
Stay tuned for updates on Vladimir Sobotka and the rest of the St. Louis Blues.
As always, LET’S GO BLUES!