Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 12/08/08 at 03:31 PM ET
According to Bob McKenzie on NHL Live this morning, the Tampa Bay Lightning has placed Radim Vrbata on waivers.
12:40pm ET Update: Noted by RDS, it was both Vrbata and Chris Gratton that were placed on waivers.
1:00pm ET Update: From TSN, Vrbata asked to be waived—
The free-agent winger, who was signed to a three-year, $9 million free-agent contract in the off-season is apparently heading home to the Czech Republic to finish the season there. The Lightning will apparently not be responsible for paying him for the balance of this season but the contract will remain in force for the second and third years should he choose to return to the NHL.
“Radim is a great guy and he came into our office on Sunday morning and just told us his confidence is low and he would like to head home to the Czech Republic to finish the season,” Lightning owner Oren Koules told TSN. “He just wants to take the rest of the year off (from the NHL) and try to get his game back over there. If he wants to come back next season, great. That’s his call. This is all very amicable. He’s a great guy who’s really struggling right now.”
added 3:38pm (Paul), via Jamie’s Hockey Blog at About.com,
A bad contract dissolves in a puff of smoke and the cap room magically reappears.
Though the team is framing it as Vrbata’s choice, management must be thrilled to find a dumping ground for the player, the contract and the cap hit.
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