Sep 10, 2013, 10:43 AM EDT
The Phoenix Coyotes have entered contract extension talks with forward Radim Vrbata and, based on GM Don Maloney’s statement, Vrbata should be in line for a tidy raise.
“He’s been a very good player for us and we’ve had great value for what we’re paying him,” Maloney told Fox Sports Arizona. “I feel like we’re always fair in our contracts — my idea of fair and other camps’ idea may be different — but when you look at his numbers, he’s probably earned more.”
Vrbata, 32, is in the final year of a three-year, $9 million deal with an average annual value of $3 million. While Maloney’s assertion is rare for a GM — who openly admits he got a steal of a deal? — it ultimately rings true.
The skillful Czech finished second on the team in scoring last year, with 28 points, and finished 11th in the NHL in goalscoring in 2011-12, with 35.
Vrbata’s goals were crucial scores as well. He tied Tampa Bay’s Steve Stamkos for the league lead in game-winners (12), pushing Phoenix to its first-ever Pacific Division championship.
Vrbata sounds as though he wants to stay in Phoenix and, after briefly leaving the organization to sign in Tampa for the 2008-09 season, realizes the desert is a good fit for him.
“Phoenix is the place where I’ve had the most success, where we like it as a family and where I like it as a hockey player,” Vrbata explained. “All the people around the team, Tip, Don, Shane (Doan) and the players, they make it a great situation for me.
“I wanted to be here even when the ownership situation was in limbo. With this new ownership group in place, it makes it even more appealing.”
- One more time, with feeling: Flames stage yet another comeback, eliminate Vancouver 11
- Keith conquers: Blackhawks come back, eliminate Predators 36
- Red Wings smother Lightning, take 3-2 series lead 17
- Going the distance: Isles edge Caps to force Game 7 29
- WATCH LIVE: Today’s Stanley Cup playoff action 6
- Lucic issues statement on father’s passing 10
- Hall caught off guard by Oilers’ front office shuffle 18
- Wild’s Dubnyk shakes off six-goal night, saves 36 as Blues pushed to brink 34
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 5
- Malkin: ‘I want to say sorry to fans, to my teammates’ 58
- Too little, too late: Rangers stifle Penguins for 2-1 series lead (114)
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime (108)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (92)
- Okposo blasts ‘idiot’ Wilson after physical outing versus Isles (82)
- Preds, Forsberg finally solve Darling, push series to Game 6 (76)