Vladimir Sobotka decides to stay in KHL for 2015-16 season: Report

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Vladimir Sobotka had until this coming weekend to decide whether he would remain in the KHL or return to the St. Louis Blues. On Friday, his Russian side, Avangard Omsk, announced that the forward would be staying with the team for the 2015-16 season.

“Yesterday we had a conversation with Vladimir Sobotka, and we agreed that he is a player of our club for another season,” said Omsk president Vladimir Shalaev, via Google translation. “Vladimir said that he likes to play in our team. He is pleased to provide him playing time and a sense of trust of the coaching staff. He understands that he has become one of the leaders of the team and can realize themselves to the maximum.”

Sobotka had a two-week window following the World Championships to make his decision thanks to an out-clause in his deal. If he's to return to the NHL, the Blues own his rights for at least one more season following an arbitration decision last summer that awarded the restricted free agent a one-year, $2.7 million contract. But when the award was announced, he had already signed a three-year deal worth north of $12 million (tax free!) with Omsk after negotiations with St. Louis went south.  

Now that Sobotka is staying in the KHL for a second season, Blues GM Doug Armstrong is forced to wait until next May to try and lure the forward back to North America.

“If he decides to come back to the NHL, we’ll welcome him back with open arms," he said last week. "And if not, we’ll address it a year from now. He knows he’s going to come back through St. Louis.”

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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