TORONTO — Vladimir Sobotka is no longer feeling good about his chances of rejoining the St. Louis Blues this season.
Sobotka has spent the past two seasons in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League and planned on returning to the NHL. But with one year left on his contract, Avangard Omsk and the KHL have made the process difficult.
The 29-year-old forward said at media day for the World Cup of Hockey that while talks between camps are ongoing, he’s no longer optimistic.
"It’s been going on for five months, so I’ve had enough of it," said Sobotka, who will play for the Czech Republic. "I’m not thinking about it. It’s just getting ready for workouts. I don’t want to think about it anymore."
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Wednesday in Washington that Sobotka was having "issues" getting back. Even with the year left on his contract, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said the plan was for Sobotka to be back for the 2016-17 season.
In 381 NHL games, Sobotka has 35 goals and 88 assists for 123 points. He had a total of 72 points in the KHL over the past two seasons.