One day after signing goaltender Ryan Miller, the Canucks filled the need for a goal scoring winger, inking Radim Vrbata to a two-year contract worth $5 million per season.
Vrbata is 33 years old and coming off a 51 point season for the Phoenix Coyotes. He has been a consistent scorer for the desert dogs for six seasons. His best season was in 2011-12 when he scored 35 goals and put up 62 points. He did all of this while playing in Dave Tippett’s defence-first system.
Vrbata is a shoot-first player, finishing 11th in the NHL in shots on goal last season. He is also excellent in the shootout, which is much needed for the Canucks in the regular season. Vrbata was 5-for-12 (41.7%) and instantly becomes the Canucks top shootout performer.
Now lets talk money. Vrbata at $5 million per season is a little bit more expensive than I would have liked to see, but I love the two-year term. All in all the signing it is a positive move for the Canucks, who were 28th in goals last season and are in desperate need of someone who can put the puck in the net.
Expect Vrbata to fit-in on right wing on the Canucks first or second line and to receive considerable amount of power play time. His addition should allow players like Chris Higgins and/or Jannik Hansen to play on the team’s third line, where they are more comfortable.
Feature Image: coyotes.nhl.com