The Boston Bruins are one of several teams reportedly interested in free-agent winger Radim Vrbata.
TSN’s Aaron Ward reported the news via Twitter:
Appears to be 5-6 teams expressing interest in Radim Vrbata. Teams include TB,MTL,SJ and BOS. #TSN—
Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) June 30, 2014
Vrbata is among the NHL’s most underrated forwards. The 33-year-old winger has tallied 19 or more goals in the last five non-lockout seasons in which he’s played more than 18 games. He found the back of the net 20 times last season and added a career-high 30 assists despite not having a top-tier playmaking center on his line.
The Bruins might not be able to afford Vrbata, though. Boston’s ability to sign him, if that’s even the plan, might depend on what happens to the team’s other free agents, including veteran winger Jarome Iginla. The Bruins want to bring Iginla back, and he’s reportedly willing to return on a one-year contract. If he leaves as an unrestricted free agent, Vrbata would be a good backup plan for the B’s as they put together a top-six forward group for next season.
Boston has just $1,670,357 million in salary cap space with 18 players signed for 2014-15, per CapGeek. The team’s most notable free agents include Iginla (UFA), defenseman Torey Krug (RFA) and forward Reilly Smith (RFA).
Free agents are able to sign with new teams when the market opens at noon ET on Tuesday.