Sure, Vladimir Sobotka could have won the Cup last night with the Boston Bruins had he not been sent to the Blues in a very lopsided deal that basically fleeced the Bruins of one of their best energy guys (an aside: that shows how good the Bruins are – lose three important players like Sobotka, Mark Stuart, and Blake Wheeler, and you’re fine). But I think that Vodka is coping just fine. He signed a contract extension with the St. Louis Blues worth $3.9 million over the next three seasons. He started out on the fourth line, but by the end of the year was an assist-machine for Patrik Berglund. Injuries and everything else that went wrong with the team last year gave him a chance to show what he was capable of, and he seized upon that chance admirably.
Said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong:
“It’s like dressing two players on a lot of nights. He can play left wing on your top line, be an anchor on your bottom two (lines), power play, kill penalties … he’s real versatile. You need two or three guys like that on a roster. I also think at his age, he’s defined himself and we know what he’s going to do now. He’ll be able to provide more offense as he matures. But the type of player he is, he exemplifies what we want to be on the ice as competitors.”
I can imagine the intimidation factor involved in this: