TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 15: Radim Vrbata #17 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 15, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Coyotes defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in an overtime shoot-out. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Radim Vrbata Happy To Stay With Arizona Coyotes

Published On March 2, 2017 | By Jason Harrison | B-Sides

Radim Vrbata was relieved to hear that he was remaining with the Arizona Coyotes after a whirlwind of rumors leading up to the trade deadline.

Not everyone is happy with the Arizona Coyotes, but Radim Vrbata can’t complain.

He was allowed to stay in the desert instead of being shipped to a contender and that suits him just fine.

That seems counter to the narrative of players wishing their way out of Arizona for better, more competitive teams, and it is. Vrbata has had his fill of the rest of the league, it would appear, and rebuild or no he’s happy to call the Valley home.

“I’m happy,” Vrbata said after learning he was staying put. “There was a reason why I signed here, and I wanted to finish the season here. I’m glad nothing happened.”

While the return may have helped the future, it’s hard to disagree with #17. It’ll be good to have him around these final 20 games.

He added, “”It was a little nerve-racking the last two days, a waiting game … I will finish the season here and hopefully come back next year.”

For general manager John Chayka, that answer is part of the reason why he held onto Vrby.

Unlike with Martin Hanzal, Chayka has an extremely good shot at retaining Vrbata in free agency at a reasonable price. With no fear of Vrbata leaving without the team acquiring assets in return, it was easier to hold fast on his trade demands and walk away if no contending team was willing to play ball.

Having Radim Vrbata on the roster to finish the season won’t change much in the standings, but he is one of a decreasing number of veteran voices in the room helping to mentor all of the Coyotes’ youngsters.

There’s also another reason it’s good he’s stay around.

His 1,000th game will be in an Arizona Coyotes sweater. That’s about as fitting as it comes.

Arizona Coyotes News And Links

Arizona Coyotes don’t trade Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan before deadline — AZCentral

But once the deadline hit at 1 p.m. Arizona time, the group remained intact as management pulled the reins on any more deals that affected the NHL roster, so pending unrestricted free agent Radim Vrbata and captain Shane Doan stayed put.

New Arizona Coyotes management staff collaborating on decisions — AZCentral

This is the first run for the entire hockey operations department after last summer’s front-office shakeup.

Arizona Coyotes’ Lack of Goaltending Depth Becoming Apparent — Howlin’ Hockey

The Arizona Coyotes need to address their goaltending depth sooner rather than later.

Arizona Coyotes acquire Joe Whitney from the Colorado Avalanche — Five For Howling

Another minor-league move to bolster the Roadrunners.

Rebuilding Coyotes running out of options — AZCentral

A new home on tribal land might be the only option keeping the Coyotes from relocating to another state, an end-game that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has been trying to avoid for seven years.

Other Local Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks: Shelby Miller looks forward to a fresh start — Venom Strikes

Right-hander Shelby Miller of the Arizona Diamondbacks is ready for a new beginning

Earl Watson wants enforcer to protect Suns offensive players — ESPN

Phoenix may be in last place in the Western Conference, but Suns head coach Earl Watson is not happy taking all the losses on the chin.

Number Fire talks Arizona Cardinals 2017 NFL Draft needs — Revenge of the Birds

The analytics site has some interesting takes on the Arizona Cardinals draft needs.