Jun 30, 2014, 11:31 AM EST
Sounds as though Radim Vrbata‘s time in the desert will soon be up.
Vrbata, who scored a career-high 35 goals for the Coyotes two years ago, looks as though he’ll be testing free agency tomorrow, per Fox Sports Arizona:
When asked specifically if the Gagner trade closed the door on a return by wing Radim Vrbata, [GM Don] Maloney said the Coyotes would love to have him back, but the asking price is currently too high.
Vrbata is believed to be seeking a three-to-four year deal at an average annual value of $4.5 million. Given the Coyotes’ financial constraints and Vrbata’s age (33) that is probably too much.
Vrbata just wrapped the last of a three-year, $9 million deal so it’s not overly surprising he’s looking for a significant pay bump in what looks to be a relatively thin draft year. In terms of UFA goalscoring wingers, Vrbata’s right up there — he had 20 goals or more in four of his six seasons in Arizona and, during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, scored 12 times in 34 games…which works out to 28 over an 82-game season.
It also sounds as though teams are ready to pounce on the Czech sniper. Per Sportsnet, “as many as six teams are serious” in acquiring Vrbata’s services.
There’s also this, from ESPN:
7-8 teams interested in UFA winger Radim Vrbata but Coyotes also remain in mix. Arizona and Vrbata camp should speak again before Tuesday
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 30, 2014
- Video: Pacioretty taken to hospital, reportedly no hearing expected for Stoner after questionable hit 4
- Video: Canadiens honor long-time captain Saku Koivu 2
- Crosby back for Pens after missing three games with the mumps 1
- Comparing the shot differentials of all 30 teams 9
- PHT interviews Jim Nill, who’s ‘not surprised’ by Stars’ early-season struggles 2
- Mark Howe on his father’s health: ‘He’s back in the ballgame’ 3
- Holland: ‘I’m not against fighting’ 8
- Preds’ Neal fined for diving 24
- After surprising start, Flames sign Hartley to multi-year contract extension 5
- Update your wallcharts: Rangers confirm Brassard has mumps 11