Vladimír Sobotka (Czech pronunciation: [ˈvlaɟɪmiːr ˈsobotka]; born 2 July 1987) is a Czech professional ice hockey centre currently playing for Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga (ELH). Sobotka has previously played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and the Buffalo Sabres, and also in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for Avangard Omsk. Sobotka was selected in the fourth round, 106th overall, in 2005 by the Boston Bruins from Slavia Prague.
2 July 1987|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||183 lb (83 kg; 13 st 1 lb)|
St. Louis Blues
SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers
|National team||Czech Republic|
106th overall, 2005|
Sobotka played his first NHL game during the 2007–08 season on 24 November 2007, against the New York Islanders. His first career NHL goal was scored later that season, on 13 February 2008, against Ty Conklin of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
On 6 November 2010, Sobotka recorded his first goal for the Blues against his former club, the Boston Bruins, beating Tuukka Rask after a turnover in the Bruins' zone. At the end of the 2010–11 season, he finished with 29 points in 65 games.
On 15 June 2011, Sobotka signed a three-year contract extension with the Blues.
Sobotka, at the completion of the 2013–14 season, became a restricted free agent, and instead of re-signing with the Blues, opted instead to sign with Avangard Omsk in the KHL on a three-year contract. When it became clear to the Blues that there was a possibility that Sobotka would be playing in the KHL, the organization filed for salary arbitration with the NHL. On 21 July 2014, Sobotka received a one-year, $2.725 million award from an arbitrator. The result of the arbitration award states that should Sobotka return to the NHL in the future, the Blues would retain his rights for one year at the amount awarded by the arbitrator; at the end of that year, he would then become an unrestricted free agent in the NHL.
After completing three full seasons in the KHL, it was announced on April 6, 2017, that Sobotka would be returning to the Blues in time for the end of the 2016–17 season and then the playoffs. He finished the 2016–17 season on the salary awarded to him in arbitration in 2014 ($2.725 million), and agreed to a three-year extension with the Blues, set to kick in for the 2017–18 NHL season.
On July 1, 2018, Sobotka, along with Tage Thompson, Patrik Berglund, a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and a second round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry draft, was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Ryan O'Reilly.
At the completion of his contract with the Sabres, Sobotka left the NHL as a free agent and agreed to an initial one-month contract in Switzerland with SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers of the NL, on 9 October 2020.
On 6 January 2014, Sobotka was named to the Czech Republic's roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, though a leg injury sustained with St. Louis on 31 January prevented him from participating.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|2003–04||HC Slavia Praha||CZE U18||35||24||41||65||109||7||7||12||19||8|
|2003–04||HC Slavia Praha||CZE U20||18||6||6||12||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||HC Slavia Praha||ELH||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||HC Slavia Praha||CZE U20||27||12||21||33||91||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||HC Slavia Praha||ELH||18||0||1||1||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||HC Rebel Havlíčkův Brod||CZE.3||7||3||0||3||31||7||1||5||6||0|
|2005–06||HC Slavia Praha||CZE U20||8||10||4||14||42||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||HC Slavia Praha||ELH||33||1||9||10||28||11||2||3||5||10|
|2006–07||HC Slavia Praha||ELH||33||7||6||13||38||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||St. Louis Blues||NHL||65||7||22||29||69||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||St. Louis Blues||NHL||73||5||15||20||42||9||1||1||2||15|
|2012–13||HC Slavia Praha||ELH||27||10||15||25||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012–13||St. Louis Blues||NHL||48||8||11||19||35||6||0||3||3||0|
|2013–14||St. Louis Blues||NHL||61||9||24||33||72||6||0||3||3||4|
|2016–17||St. Louis Blues||NHL||1||1||0||1||0||11||2||4||6||2|
|2017–18||St. Louis Blues||NHL||81||11||20||31||50||—||—||—||—||—|
|Representing Czech Republic|
|World U18 Championships|
- "Blues sign Sobotka". USA Today. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- "Blues re-sign Sobotka to three-year deal". St. Louis Blues. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- AP. "NHL roundup: Sobotka's hat trick lifts Blues past Sharks in OT". The News Journal. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Brehm, Mike (10 July 2014). "Blues lose Vladimir Sobotka to KHL, re-sign Steve Ott". USA Today. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Brehm, Mike (21 July 2014). "Vladimir Sobotka gets award; Cody Franson settles". USA Today. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- AP. "Vladimir Sobotka signs three-year contract with Blues". NHL.com. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- "Sabres trade Ryan O'Reilly to Blues". sportsnet.ca. 1 July 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
- "SCRJ sign Vlad Sobotka" (in German). SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers. 9 October 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
- "Sobotka to Play for Czech Republic: Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka will play in the 2014 Winter Olympics". NHL.com. 6 January 2014.
- "Sobotka Placed on IR with Leg Injury: Blues forward was injured late Jan. 31 and will be re-evaluated in four weeks". NHL.com. 1 February 2014.