The St. Louis Blues don't know if center Vladimir Sobotka will return to the NHL this season because of a contract dispute with the team he played for in the Kontinental Hockey League last season, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday.
Sobotka, 29, who played for Team Czech Republic at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, has spent the past two seasons with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. Sobotka has expressed a desire to return to the NHL, but Avangard Omsk is refusing to let him out of the last year of his contract.
"I met with [Sobotka] and his agent [during the World Cup] and it's complicated, to say the least, with the Russians," Armstrong told the newspaper from Toronto. "We're hopefully going to have it resolved one way or the other certainly by Sunday. It's more complicated than I was led to believe over the summer, and that part's disappointing. They're working on getting something done and I'm hoping they can."
Sobotka, a fourth-round pick (No. 106) in the 2005 NHL Draft byt the Boston Bruins, last played in the NHL with the Blues in 2013-14, and had his best season with 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) in 61 games. He has 123 points (35 goals, 88 assists) in 381 NHL games with the Bruins and Blues.