Radim Vrbata had a renaissance season with the Arizona Coyotes in 2016-17. After a dismal 13 goals and 27 points in 63 games with the Vancouver Canucks in 2015-16, Vrbata rebounded in the Arizona desert this past season with 20 goals and 55 points in 81 games. As a result, he’s ignited free-agent interest from around the league this offseason.
LeBrun goes on to explain that while teams have shown interest in Vrbata, he’ll likely have to wait until more prized wingers like Alex Radulov, Patrick Marleau and Justin Williams are signed before inking a deal himself. That’s because, despite producing at a reasonable clip, Vrbata’s career is dotted with inconsistency. His career high through a full season is 35 goals, his career low through a full season is 11. That’s a big gap and it may give teams pause before offering Vrbata too much term or money.
But one thing’s for sure, Vrbata will get a new contract and play in the NHL next season. 20 goal, 55 point players don’t grow on trees and you can bet that at least one general manager will be enticed by Vrbata’s skill and goal scoring capability.