Cross another body off the list of targets, Bruins fans.
According to reports, the Vancouver Canucks signed right-winger Radim Vbrata to a two-year, $10 million contract late Wednesday night. Old friend and new Canucks general manager Jim Benning apparently isn't yet satisfied in his quest to retool his team.
|Radim Vbrata (via spokeo.com)|
Before free agency began yesterday, the Bruins were reported to be among a handful of teams interested in signing Vbrata. After Jarome Iginla bolted to the Avalanche for a cool $16 million spread over three years, the Bruins were left with the reality of filling the hole on the top-line left by Iginla. There's no more time for what-ifs or unknowns: the Bruins need to find suitable bodies to plug into their roster.
And Vbrata, although he is far from a top-line talent, was certainly a suitable body.
The 33-year-old Czech native scored 20 goals and tallied 51 points this past season for the Arizona Coyotes. In six seasons with the 'Yotes, Vbrata averaged 22 goals per year, with a career-best year coming in 2011-12, when he bagged 35 goals and recorded 62 points.
The Bruins may have been interested in the services of Vbrata, but Vbrata was probably not as interested in coming to Boston. The B's simply could not have afforded the $5 million a year pricetag that the Canucks signed him for. As was the case with Iginla, the Bruins are at a disadvantage when it comes to wooing free agents to play for the Black and Gold. They can't offer much for money and they don't want to over-commit on multi-year deals.
So where does this leave the B's? Still looking for answers is where. There is still some time and some names left on the market for the Bruins to look at. If nothing comes via free agency and the Bruins play out the rest of free agency without signing another body, they will be forced to upgrade from within.