Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: radim vrbata
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.
Today’s three cheers for those who deserve as much from their performances of a night ago:
***Cheers to Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers, who burst onto the NHL scene last night with a hat trick in his first career game. Dallas’ Fabian Brunnstrom was the last player to manage three goals in his NHL debut and Stepan became the fourth player in league history to accomplish the feat. That it came against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, too, makes the performance that much more impressive. If Stepan’s contributions in the early-going are any indicator, New York will fare far better than some of us may have predicted.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alexei+yashin, david+hale, derek+stepan, fabian+brunnstrom, guy+boucher, john+tavares, kyle+okposo, mark+streit, mike+milbury, radim+vrbata, ryan+miller, steve+downie, todd+fedoruk
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
It’s not the worst thing in the world for one’s career to play with Lecavalier, especially when you are trying to revive your career, which both Tanguay and Sykora have to do. Much of the talk the past few weeks is about how much Tanguay would help the Lightning. But I say Sykora, who has 53 goals, including 28 on the power play the past two seasons for the Penguins, offers more. And he has more to prove after his playoff flop, though he also had a second-degree shoulder separation.
added 4:13, also from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
The Lightning was able to rid itself of $6 million in payroll the next two seasons by trading disappointing right wing Radim Vrbata to the Coyotes, the team he left to sign with the Lightning as a free agent. The names of the two players coming back were not immediately available.
added 4:49pm, Regarding the trade, the Lightning get Todd Fedoruk and David Hale in return.
from Damian Critodero of Lightning Strikes at the St. Peterburg Times,
Rich Evans, agent for Lightning right wing Radim Vrbata, said his client “100 percent” wants to return to the NHL next season. That leaves Vrbata in a bit of a pickle as Tampa Bay GM Brian Lawton said Vrbata does not fit into the team’s plans, and Vrbata will end up in AHL Norfolk if he cannot be moved to another team.
Toward that end, Lawton said he has given Evans permission to search the league for a team that will pick up Vrbata’s contract that pays $3 million for the next two years.
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.
via Sportsnet’s Tracker, Radim Vrbata to the Tampa Bay Lightning
Update 1:05pm ET: Sportsnet:
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent forward Radim Vrbata to a three-year, $9 million contract, Sportsnet has learned.