Despite Radim Vrbata not being the Vancouver Canucks first choice and vice versa, the two have settled on the fact that they are going to be in each others future.
The Vancouver Canucks failed to sign Jarome Iginla; the clubs second choice, Vrbata. Before agreeing to terms with the Canucks, Vrbata spoke with the Phoenix Coyotes one last time to see if a deal could be made. The Coyotes were willing to offer a longer contract, but would not include a no-trade clause which Vrbata wanted. He also turned down a four year contract with another team prior to signing with the Canucks.
Vrbata admitted it was really hard to leave Arizona. “I am not going to lie, it wasn’t easy,” he said. “We have been there six years and always really liked it. I liked it from a hockey standpoint and we liked it off the ice, so it was a tough decision.”
The move has placed Vrbata on a line with the Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik. The top line has been struggling with the power play and needs someone like Vrbata to come in and bring new momentum to the pair.
“I talked to Benning last night briefly and he was saying they were looking for someone to play with the Sedins and I would be the guy,” said Vrbata. “I was looking for the right fit, and the way they play and the way they see the game is something that will probably suit my game, so that was very interesting to have that chance.”
Vrbata has 215 goals and 464 points over the course of 792 regular season games in the NHL. Last season he had 20 goals and 51 points, and is expected to bring an excellent right shot to the lineup and increase scoring depth, perhaps even helping in the shootout.
Although the spot alongside the Sedin’s is not set in stone, the possibility to jump in to the top line is excellent motivation for Vrbata to come in with his best on the ice.