Czech winger to leave Tampa Bay to finish season in Czech league

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – Radim Vrbata is set to move from Tampa Bay Lightning to former club BK Mlada Boleslav in the Czech league for the rest of the season.

The 27-year-old winger was signed by the Lightning as a free agent in the off-season to a US$9-million, three-year contract following 27 goals and 29 assists with the Phoenix Coyotes for his best career NHL season.

However, Vrbata scored only three goals and had three assists in 18 games this season and decided to return home to regain confidence, Mlada Boleslav said Friday in a statement.

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Mlada Boleslav said Vrbata is expected to sign a deal through April 30 on Tuesday.

Vrbata was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 1999 and entered the NHL in the 2001-02 season. He also played for the Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks.