|(8/30/16) Sobotka will be heading to Toronto to represent the Czech Republic in the World Cup of Hockey, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. After the tournament, Sobotka is expected to return to the NHL as a member of the Blues this season, following two years in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.|
That's the plan right now, but the Sobotka saga continues to play out in Russia. Recent reports and comments from Victor Shalaev, the general manager of Sobtka's Russian team, introduce some doubt. "Sobotka will join us as soon as he's healthy," Shalaev told Russian-based Sport-express.ru. "Forget about St. Louis and other nonsense." Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was asked once again to confirm Sobotka's status and reports that he's spoken with Sobotka's agent, Petr Svoboda, over the past few weeks and nothing has changed -- the winger is planning to join St. Louis following the World Cup. Adding to the intrigue, there have been reports Sobotka underwent offseason surgery to repair an upper-body injury, but Armstrong said "he's passed all physicals, he's ready to play for the Czech national team and he'll be ready for our team also."