We all have our favorites—and some of them play for different teams. An example: Vladimir Sabotka. The former Boston Bruins forward—whose rights currently belong to the St. Louis Blues—may or may not return to North America this fall. Some Blues observers are growing tired of the dance, and suggesting the team trade the veteran. If that does come to pass, the Edmonton Oilers should be very aggressive in attempts to acquire him.
Being reported Vladimir Sobotka will soon join Avangard. Omsk has a new head coach which was significant to Sobotka decison. #stlblues
— Siberian Tiger (@Siberian91Tiger) August 18, 2016
Buffa82, St. Louis Game Time: Earlier this summer, it was reported Sobe was coming back. Then, the
lights dimmed a bit on his return and the road got dark. In early
August, he was set to make his return. Last week, it was reported his
team in the KHL(let’s not try to pronounce it like we care) made an
offer he couldn’t refuse and Sobotka was staying. Or was he? Blues
reporter Jeremy Rutherford said it was still undecided and Blues hadn’t
heard official word yet. Source
Sobotka bolted the NHL with a year left on his contract, so owes the Blues (or a new team) one year of service at a silly good rate.
The danger in trading for Sobotka is that he would be a free agent in the summer of 2017, but that would also mean he wouldn’t need to be protected in the expansion draft. And he is a good player, reflected in his most recent NHL season:
VLADIMIR SOBOTKA 13-14
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.74 (in 760 minutes, 8-14-22)
- 5×4 points per 60: 3.18 (in 94 minutes, 1-4-5)
- Corsi for 5×5 %: 56.7
- Qual Comp: mid-level
- Qual Team: mid-level
- Corsi for 5×5 % REL: 8.8
- Shots on goal/percentage: 102/8.8 percent
- Boxcars: 61GP, 9-24-33
- Information via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com, behindthenet.ca and hockey-reference.
Now, that was a few years ago and Sobotka is 29, but for me he could be a very good addition to the bottom 6F—and a player who could step up as needed. Oh, and here’s the kicker: He owned a 61.9 percent faceoff percentage in his last NHL season and played 111 minutes on the penalty kill. He could be a dynamite addition to this Oilers team.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Sobotka may play in St. Louis, or he may play in Omsk. I think he could help Edmonton, and if he is unwilling to play for the Blues, perhaps a trade to a team like the Oilers will work for all involved. It is certainly worth pursuing, and would address the center position—in all three disciplines.