Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/05/12 at 04:46 PM ET
from Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy,
This is Vrbata’s second stint with the Coyotes. After putting up 27 goals and 56 points in 2007-08, he signed a 3-year, $9 million with the Tampa Bay Lightning. That move was short-lived as after just 18 games, Vrbata asked out of his contract so he could move back to his native Czech Republic and be with his wife who was dealing with issues related to her pregnancy. Everything ended up fine for the Vrbatas and the following season he was back with the Coyotes scoring 24 goals.
Now settled in Phoenix, this season Vrbata has already set a career high in goals with 30 and is three points away from a personal best in points. If you were putting together a list of potential Hart Trophy finalists to join Evgeni Malkin and Henrik Lundqvist in Las Vegas come June, you could make an argument Vrbata’s name should at least be in the discussion.
We spoke to Vrbata about the Coyotes’ hot February, his success in Phoenix, visiting fans at Jobing.com Arena, and more.
Q. The team goes 11-0-1 in the month of February. Was there one thing that clicked that helped drive the team’s success?
VRBATA: The main this is we got healthy around the All-Star break. Before the break, our schedule was still a little crazy with lots of travel and injuries we had to key guys. So after the break we got healthy and had a couple practices where worked on our game and kind of took it from there.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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