Radim Vrbata had already announced that he would be retiring from the NHL after this season, and in an excellent piece by Craig Morgan of AZ Sports he goes into just why he made the decision. Vrbata plans on coaching his son’s hockey team in the Czech Republic, before deciding where his hockey career—whatever that entails—will take him next.
Vrbata will end his career having played 1,057 games in the NHL, scoring 623 points in the process. Though he never won a Stanley Cup, he did get to the Conference Finals with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2011-12, the same year he scored a career-high 35 goals. The seventh-round pick from 1999 proved to be an excellent offensive producer throughout his career, cracking 50 points on four occasions and scoring 30+ goals twice.
- Garth Snow and the rest of the New York Islanders front office were apparently caught off guard by the hiring of Lou Lamoriello recently, as Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports. Snow and Islanders’ head coach Doug Weight were at the IIHF World Championship scouting in Denmark when the team hired Lamoriello to run their hockey operations, and were “kept out of the loop.” While Brooks doesn’t expand on what that means, it does add a little awkwardness as Snow is currently still listed as GM and Alternate Governor of the team, though many reports have Lamoriello with full control of the team.
- Just as Ottawa falls into disarray again with the recent comments of Daniel Alfredsson over the desire for a new owner, Calgary gets some good news on their future. The Flames have been embroiled in a battle with the city over a prospective new arena, with both sides walking away from the table late last year. Now, city council has voted to open talks again with the team to try and get some progress towards a new home for the Flames. Several times team President Ken King has hinted that staying at their current home for much longer isn’t financially feasible, with some taking that to mean that possible relocation would happen down the road without a new arena. While this is extremely preliminary, it is at least a step in the right direction.