This afternoon, the Coyotes traded defenseman David Hale and left wing Todd Fedoruk to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for right wing Radim Vrbata.
Vrbata had issues last year after signing a big 3 year 9 million dollar deal with Tampa Bay. In 18 NHL games he scored 3 goals and had 3 assists. He asked the team for leave to go back and play in the Czech Republic and they allowed him to leave since he wasn't producing and it meant they didn't have to pay him. While in the Czech Republic he split time between HC Bílí Tygři Liberec and Mlada Boleslav BK. In 21 combined games he went 10-8-18. Earlier in the summer he said that he was looking to return to the NHL, but the Lightning pretty much said he wouldn't be playing for them unless it was in the minors. In his season with the Coyotes he did very well, especially with Martin Hanzal, with 27-29-56 to show for it. If he can even approach that form again it would be a nice gain for the Coyotes. He may be somewhat over priced, but we've got plenty of cap space and could use some goal production.
As for Hale and Fedoruk I don't think anyone will be broken up over their departure. Fedoruk was a solid checking line player who could pitch in a goal or two here or there, but Hale on the blueline was never something that turned out well. Though he did finally score his first NHL goal with us last season, he just always seemed to simply take up space on the ice and not in a good way. He was a constant healthy scratch, playing 48 games last season, mostly when Derek Morris went down with an injury or when Ken Klee needed a game off.
#17 / Tampa Bay Lightning
Jun 13, 1981
|2008 - Radim Vrbata||18||3||3||6||-1||8||1||0||0||0||41||7.3|
#17 / Left Wing / Phoenix Coyotes
Feb 13, 1979
|2008 - Todd Fedoruk||72||6||7||13||-9||72||0||0||0||0||56||10.7|
#21 / Defenseman / Phoenix Coyotes
Jun 18, 1981
|2008 - David Hale||48||3||6||9||-11||36||0||0||0||0||22||13.6|