St. Louis Blues Close to “Finalizing” Vladimir Sobotka’s Return

In what has been one of the strangest, longest running, worst kept secrets, the St. Louis Blues may finally be close to finalizing the return of Vladimir Sobotka.

Sigh…can’t we just end this thing already? Vladimir Sobotka has been rumored to be returning to the St. Louis Blues since April and perhaps even before that. It’s been one of the strangest situations and most Blues fans are just ready for it to be over.

Sobotka wanted a raise with a year left on his contract in the summer of 2014. He was offered a large sum of money to go play in the KHL and jumped at the chance. While there were those that were upset the Blues did not just pay, it made sense for all involved.

The Blues were not going to pay what Omsk was willing to pay and Sobotka was not worth that much for his NHL production. On the other hand, Sobotka was looking out for himself and his family, so there isn’t any great issue with him taking the money.

It was a win-win for all involved because the player got the money he wanted, the team did not have to pay big dollars and they still retained his rights for if/when he returned to the NHL. Well, supposedly, he’s been linked to return to the NHL for awhile this offseason.

We still have yet to see him either in the states or associated with the Blues. It’s been dragging out like a bill trying to get through Congress. I think we’re all ready for it to be over and for an official announcement to be made.

Again, supposedly, it is on the horizon.

Craig Custance is a well respected journalist, working for ESPN. He tends to have reliable sources and if he says he spoke to Armstrong, then there is no reason to not believe him.

However, unfortunately the situation has reached the point of critical mass with the faithful and nobody believes this stuff anymore. Until Sobotka arrives in St. Louis, is seen in uniform or announced as traded, we should and probably are all assuming he’s going to find a way to stay in Russia.

The entire situation is just odd at this point. To clean up an old saying, it’s time to crap or get off the pot.

If he’s going to become a Blue again, then just announce it. If he’s either choosing to stay or being forced to stay in Russia, then just announce that too.

It’s understandable that none of us fully understands the ins and outs of KHL contracts and how you get out of them to go to the NHL, but it just shouldn’t be taking this long. Sobotka has been rumored to be returning since the season ended and there was even brief talk of him joining the team in time for the playoffs.

So, many of us now see the tweet by Custance and even though he is reporting he got the information from the horse’s mouth, i.e. the general manager, it still isn’t believable. Whether you’re in the camp that wants him back or those that could not care less or those that don’t want to see him ever return, we can all agree that this shouldn’t have taken this long.

Unless the Blues or Sobotka’s agent are trying to work a trade and/or an extention, there isn’t anything other than the announcement to work out. Other than getting the paperwork taken care of with the KHL, which very well could be a snag, there isn’t any negotiating to be done.

Sobotka is going to be held to the final year of his deal or both sides would have been more amiable to an extension two summers ago. So, what’s the hold up? Why are we waiting?

No, it’s not a huge thing but for fans we like to at least envision what kind of team will be set in front of us. Without the knowledge of Sobotka’s inclusion or exclusion, we don’t have a clue if anyone would have a real chance to make the team come training camp.

If Sobotka is there, he’s going to be in the top nine, most likely. However, if he is not there, his penciled-in spot could be given to someone like Ty Rattie or Tage Thompson if he wowed at camp.

It just needs to end. Figure it out and either have him in there or let the people know he’s not coming. The will-he, won’t-he seesaw is old.