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Report: Five or six teams chasing Radim Vrbata

Jul 1, 2014, 9:29 AM EST

Radim Vrbata Getty Images

One of the sneakier pickups during free agency this summer could be Arizona Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata.

According to TSN’s Aaron Ward, five or six teams are hot after the 33-year-old Czech including the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, and San Jose Sharks.

The Bruins would make a lot of sense provided Jarome Iginla signs elsewhere and perhaps Vrbata’s presence could give a boost to fellow Czech David Krejci.

Seeing the Lightning on that list is curious because he spent 18 unspectacular games of the 2008-09 season with them after signing there as a free agent on July 1, 2008. A year later, he was dealt back to the Coyotes where he instantly recaptured his ability to score goals.

Vrbata had 20 goals and 51 points for the Coyotes last season. His point total was good for second on the team behind defenseman Keith Yandle. It was the right time for him to hit free agency as he could strike it big with a dearth of quality goal scorers available.

  1. ibieiniid - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I wonder how Radim Vrbata is still a “sneaky” pickup. He’s one of the most under-appreciated premier players in this league. IMO, he’s almost as big of a pick up as Stastny or Iginla.

    • pfhockey - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      I know, he doesn’t have the best forward supporting cast in Arizona but place him on a deep team like BOS or MTL and he’ll likely be a 30 goal 60 point guy barring injury.

    • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      You kind of answered your own question.

      He’s a sneaky pick up because he IS under-appreciated. Not a lot of people pay attention to Phoenix, so Vrbata’s not on a lot of teams’ radars.

  2. pfhockey - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I’d expect the Lightning to chase him. We need a Top six RW for this season, don’t feel too comfortable putting Connolly or Kucherov in the Top 6 yet, maybe Connolly third line and up to second line if he plays well and Kucherov can develop more in the AHL with Namestnikov. But Boston is where I expect him to go in the void of Iginla and Tampa will sign him short term anyways due to the re-signing they’ll have do due in a few years.

    Palat – Stamkos – Callahan
    Drouin – Filppula – Vrbata
    Panik – Johnson – Connolly

    • erbaker67 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      They did that once. It didnt work out. I doubt that TBL will try that again.

    • pfhockey - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      Replace panik with Killorn

  3. smaktalker - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Thing about Vrby is this He does well during the regular season but disappears in the playoff. Sometimes He even disappears afew games during the season. I don’t care what line he’s on. Part of the reason Yotes are done with Him.

  4. smaktalker - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    I think He will get paid way too much this time. I still respec him as aplayer he helped the Yotes the entire time He’s been with them. I just hope he doesnt fall into the Coyote curse, like Whitney , Bryz and even Z felt it when he went to Pittsburg.

  5. bcisleman - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Per Arthur Staple, Islanders are taking an interest as well.

  6. kane987245 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    You want to talk about being with fellow Czech, the NJD would be a prime candidate. They are slowly turning into the Czech National Team with the number of people they have from their. Zidlicky, Elias, Jagr, hell, Havalt just signed there too for a low deal.

  7. kane987245 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    *there

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