KHL GM Says Vladimir Sobotka Staying in KHL, Blues GM Says Otherwise

Victor Shalaev, general manager of Avangard Omsk, told the Russian that Vladimir Sobotka will be staying in the KHL, according to Igor Eronko.

“Sobotka will join us as soon as he’s healthy,” he told sport-express. “Forget about St. Louises and other nonsense.” A similar report appeared recently at

Part of the reason many believe he could return to the KHL is a head coach change in Avangard. The team has hired Fedor Kanareykin to replace Eugene Kornoukhova, who Sobotka is reported to have been at odds with.

Reports of Sobotka’s return to the KHL fly in the face of reports from the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford, who says that Sobotka’s agent told Blues general manager Doug Armstrong as recently as Thursday that Sobotka’s plan is to return to the NHL and the Blues organization.

“I talked to the agent yesterday, and he said [Sobotka] will be here,” Armstrong wrote to Rutherford in a text message.

Shocking that there are wildly different reports coming out of the NHL and the KHL. It will surely go down in history as the first time that’s ever happened.

The 29-year-old Sobotka left for the KHL after four seasons with the Blues due to a contract dispute. However, his current KHL contract is believed to have an out-clause for an NHL return.

Rutherford reports that Sobotka is believed to be in the Czech Republic waiting to finalize the termination of his KHL contract.