20 in 20: St Louis Blues' Andy McDonald and Vladimir Sobotka

By Tony Moreno

Here is my 20 in 20 segment where I will focus on 20 players in 20 days for the St. Louis Blues.  The next 2 on the list are Andy McDonald and Vladimir Sobotka.

Andy McDonald – At 35 years old, McDonald seems like he has only gotten faster.  The aging veteran came over to St. Louis in the 2007-2008 season where he was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks for Doug Weight, Michal Birner, and a 7th round pick.  He already has a Stanley Cup ring from the Ducks and brought leadership to a growing Blues team.

McDonald has put up a solid points per game rate: 468 points in 648 games in 11 NHL seasons.  While we all know his skill is still there, many question his health.  McDonald has only played in 60+ games just once since joining the Blues in 2007.  From a shoulder injury to concussion symptoms, his durability is certainly not the greatest.  However, when he is healthy he has been one of the top contributors on the Blues.

In 2010-2011, McDonald had 50 points in 58 games.  In 2011-2012, even though McDonald only played in 25 games, he was able to contribute 22 points.  His play at the end of the season certainly boosted the Blues offense and he had the best post-season performance for the Blues by collecting 10 points in 9 games.

McDonald is entering a contract year with the Blues, and if he could stay healthy, he could be one of the Blues’ top scorers and might earn a new contract that would see him ending his career in St. Louis.  However, if he does miss a substantial amount of time again, he may be entering free agency next summer.

Vladimir Sobotka – Many seem to overlook Sobotka when discussing the Blues’ success.

While he doesn’t score the most goals on the team, he provides depth on the 3rd line for the Blues.  Even though he is 25, Sobotka seems to continue to mature every year.  He is willing to get into a scuffle and has potential to become a leader.

In 2010-2011, Sobotka had his best season with 29 points in 65 games.  While he took a small step back in 2011-2012 with only 20 points in 73 games, Sobotka seems to be due for a breakout season.  However, with the Blues starting to gain depth on offense, Sobotka may be fighting for a roster spot this season.

With Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Ty Rattie possibly stepping into the Blues roster in the next year or so, Sobotka may not have a sure spot with the team in the future.  Because of this, Sobotka will be looking to up his game to avoid release or possibly being traded.

Follow me on twitter @TonyMoreno20 for updates and discussions.

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