Lightning castoff Radim Vrbata traded to the Coyotes for Todd Fedoruk and David Hale
The Lightning was able to rid itself of $6 million in payroll the next two seasons by trading disappointing right wing Radim Vrbata to the Coyotes, the team he left to sign with the Lightning as a free agent. The Lightning got left wing Todd Fedoruk and defenseman David Hale in return.
Vrbata was signed to a three-year, $9 million free-agent contract last summer, but returned to the Czech Republic because, in great part,of his wife's difficult pregnancy. Vrbata left after scoring just three goals in 18 games for the Lightning. Vrbata did not draw a salary from Tampa Bay while he was playing in the Czech Republic, but he was still Lightning property and the team was responsible for the final two years of his contract.
GM Brian Lawton, though, had said Vrbata did not fit into the Lightning's plans for next season and said Vrbata's agent Rich Evans could try to find Vrbata another NHL team with which to play. How much Evans had to do with getting Vrbata back to Phoenix was not immediately clear. Had Vrbata not been moved, he likely would have played next season for AHL Norfolk, drawing his $3 million salary.