After it was announced that Jarome Iginla secured a three-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, the Bruins found they had a rather large hole to fill on the right side of their top line heading into the 2014-15 season.
One potential replacement for Iginla, however, is now off the table, as free agent Radim Vrbata has reached an agreement to sign with the Vancouver Canucks.
The news was first reported by FOX Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan, and later confirmed by the Canucks themselves.
#Canucks and Vrbata reach verbal agreement. Details to follow after formal agreement is reached.— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) July 3, 2014
It was reported that the Bruins, among several other teams, were interested in Vrbata as means to fill the gap left when Iginla went to Colorado, but former Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning, who is now the GM of the Canucks, made sure the winger would be playing in Vancouver.
No official announcement has been made about the terms of the contract, but TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the deal is for two years at $5 million per year.
The 33-year-old native of the Czech Republic scored 20 goals and added 31 assists for the Phoenix Coyotes last season. In his NHL career, Vrbata has totaled 215 goals and 249 assists in 792 games since breaking into the league with the Avalanche in 2001-02.