Raise your hand if you had Radim Vrbata leading the Phoenix Coyotes in goals. If someone told me that Vrbata would be leading the team in goals 23 games into the season I would have looked at you funny.
Instead, what’s funny is that Vrbata is currently one of the best players on the Coyotes roster. This isn’t the first time Vrbata has played with the Coyotes. Back in 2008, Vrbata appeared in 76 games for the Coyotes while scoring 27 goals and 29 assists. Vrbata has all the makings of having a career season with his second stint as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes.
However, it was as though Vrbata never left the Coyotes. Back in 2008, Vrbata signed a three-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lighting. During the 2008-09 season, he asked permission to return to the Czech Republic citing that his wife was having difficulty during pregnancy. Vrbata would not play another game for the Lighting.
Instead, on July 21, 2009, Vrbrata was traded back to the Coyotes in exchange for David Hale and Todd Fedoruk this trade would be the biggest trade that the Coyotes made this off-season. Vrbata has dominated the puck this season making up for Shane Doan’s “quiet” start to the season. While I do not believe that Vrbata will finish the season leading the team in goals. However, what I do believe is that Vrbata will provide a great service to the Coyotes as the Coyotes hope to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Watch Vrbata's impact on the ice here: