Just breaking now, the Lightning have traded disappointing winger Radim Vrbata to the Phoenix Coyotes (the team that he left to sign with TB as a free agent last year). This has been confirmed (the fact a deal is in place) the team's official Twitter account.
No word yet on what the Lightning are to receive in the deal...
You may recall that Vrbata bolted from the Lightning in December of 2008, returning to his native Czech Republic. He recently stated that he was "100% certain" he would play in the NHL again this upcoming season. Brian Lawton gave Vrbata's agent, Rich Evants, permission to seek a new team for Radim.
And in this case, Vrbata is going back to his old team.
[UPDATE 4:25 PM EDT] Damian Cristordero of the St. Petersburg Times blogged that:
The names of the two players coming back were not immediately available
Two player is much more than I expected in return for the services of Radim Vrbata, even if the players end up being RFA's or European players who have no intention of playing in the NHL.
[Update x2] TheTampa Bay Lightning have announced the players coming back in the deal are Defenseman David Hale and LW Todd Fedoruk. The glut on defense continues to grow.
Hale has bounced around from New Jersey to Calgary to Phoenix. A stay-at-home defenseman, Hale has played 263 career NHL games and amassed 211 penalty minutes with a career plus/minus of +6 and 20 points.
Todd Fedoruk, on the other hand, is an enforcer.With 495 NHL games under his belt, Fedoruk has earned nearly 1000 penalty minutes while also chipping in points here and there. He played a career high 76 Games with the Anaheim Ducks in 2005-06 and should be looked at as additional machismo to compliment Evgeny Artyukhin as a wing ready to help (or physically hurt someone) at will.