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Coyotes’ Vrbata signs in Czech second division

Nov 1, 2012, 10:48 AM EDT

Radim Vrbata Getty Images

Coming off the best year of his NHL career, Radim Vrbata has decided to give back.

The Phoenix Coyotes forward has agreed to join Czech Hokejova Liga team BK Mlada Boleslav, according to the club website. The move to a lower-division club makes sense, as Vrbata is a 33 percent minority owner in the team.

The 31-year-old originally played for Boleslav at the junior level before jumping the pond to play for QMJHL Hull in 1998, but also briefly joined club after leaving the Tampa Bay Lighning 18 games games into the 2008-09 NHL season.

As mentioned above, Vrbata is coming off a wildly successful 2011-12 campaign with the Coyotes. He notched a career best 35 goals — tied for 11th most in the league — and led the entire NHL in game-winning goals, with 12.

The Czech sniper did all this in the first season of the three-year, $9 million deal signed with Phoenix in 2011.

With Boleslav, Vrbata will be joined by ex-Columbus Blue Jackets forward David Vyborny, who serves as the team’s captain.

  1. doubles22 - Nov 1, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Would present an interesting conundrum if the Czech League had a lockout. Which side would he fall on?

    #whatwouldRadimdo ?

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