Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Montreal Canadiens Among The Teams Trying To Sign F Radim Vrbata

Now that the July 1st free agent frenzy is over, most of the top unrestricted free agents have already found a new one. Montreal Canadiens' general manager, Marc Bergevin, was fairly active on the market, signing veteran center Manny Malhotra along with right-handed defenseman Tom Gilbert. The team also re-signed fan favorite Mike Weaver, but traded warrior Josh Gorges to the Buffalo Sabres for a draft pick.

Our team of writers here at will revisit the above signings and transaction later tonight. Right now, the last piece of the puzzle for the Habs might very well be sniper Radim Vrbata, who is the most coveted free agent forward still unsigned. Depiste RFAs Lars Eller and P.K. Subban looking for new deals, the Canadiens have the cap space to sign Vrbata to a reasonable contract. The organization currently has a little more than $15 million available under the salary cap with only two players to sign.

It is expected that Eller will probably earn a little over than $2 million on his next deal and that Subban will certainly command around $8 million per year for the next several years. That would leave the Canadiens with about $4 million of cap space to sign the right winger Vrbata, unless the team moves a player like Travis Moen, who is owned $1.85 million/year over the next two years.

The 33-year-old forward native of Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, would join his friend and national team companion Tomas Plekanec, should he decide to sign with the Canadiens. Last season, Vrbata potted 20 goals and 31 assists for 51 points in 80 games for the offensively-challenged Phoenix Coyotes. The 6'1'', 190-lb forward has six seasons with at least 18 goals during his 11-season NHL career. Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the 7th round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Vrbata played his junior hockey with the Hull Olympiques and Shawinigan Cataractes, recording 107 goals and 147 assists for 254 points in only 167 games.

At the moment, several teams remain interested in Vrbata's services, including the New Jersey Devils, the Arizona Coyotes and the Vancouver Canucks. As of now, his agent Rich Evans has not commented yet on the situation surrounding his client.

Stay tuned for more updates.

No Foolin' Fred Poulin
Follow me on Twitter -> @FredPoulin98


Vrbats to Vancouver, Habs always fail attracting good free agents.

Alot of talk Montreal sending Pacioretty and Desharnais to Winnipeg for Evander Kane and Ladd, may have to throw in a mid level prospect, but get the deal done

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