From Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic:
All signs point to Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata testing the free-agent market.
Vrbata was signed by the Coyotes to a one-year, $1.225 million contract prior to last season after being obtained in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks. He was the Coyotes’ second-leading scorer (27-29-56), but he was without a goal in the last 22 games of the season. Vrbata, who will turn 27 on Friday, has said several times that he would like to return to the Coyotes.
“I have had numerous discussions with Radim’s agent, Richard Evans, since the end of the regular season, yet we remain some distance apart on a contract,” Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said Wednesday. “At this stage, it is fair to say Radim will test the free-agent marketplace to gauge his value.
“I plan to continue my discussions with Richard in the hopes of signing Radim on terms we can both live with.”
Read the entire article here.
I am actually very intersted to see what Vrbata can net on the free agent market. He has showed he has the hands to score at the NHL level, but his consistency leaves much to be desired. Phoenix, who has had a first-hand look at him, does not seem willing to ante up a lot of money to bring him back. Whether that speaks to their belief in his ability, his over-estimating his market value or a number of other reasons, is anyone’s guess.