GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes general manager Don Maloney met with Rich Evans, the agent for Radim Vrbata, while the Coyotes played a preseason game Monday in Vancouver.
While Evans said the two sides did not talk actual numbers, Maloney said the two sides “exchanged some ideas and plan to speak again.”
Evans called the meeting “productive and positive.”
Vrbata is entering the final year of a three-year $9 million deal and said recently that he would like to have a new deal done before the season starts, rather than have it linger as a distraction. Given his production levels over the past couple seasons in Phoenix, Maloney admitted that Vrbata was probably due more than he was making.
“He’s been a very good player for us, and we’ve had great value for what we’re paying him,” Maloney said recently.
BISSONNETTE HEARING SCHEDULED
Paul Bissonnette will appeal his 10-game suspension on Sunday at noon with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York.
Bissonnette was given a game misconduct for leaving the bench on an illegal line change to join an altercation during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings on Sept. 15 in Glendale in which defenseman Rusty Klesla suffered a concussion and whiplash after an open-ice hit from the Kings’ Jordan Nolan.
It’s unclear on what grounds Bissonnette and his agent, Mark Guy will appeal. Guy did not return e-mails, but NHL spokesperson John Dellapina said last week that “one of the points of the illegal-line-change rule is to prohibit teams from creating an artificial manpower advantage during an altercation. That’s why it doesn’t matter how aggressive Bissonnette was upon arriving at the scrum — simply by being there he creates an odd-man situation that could free up a teammate to do damage.”
Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek was sporting a toothless smile when he addressed reporters Thursday at Jobing.com Arena. Michalek had three front teeth knocked out after deflecting a puck into his own mouth against the Kings.
Michalek said he will wait until the season ends to get permanent replacements, but he laughed when asked if he might consider sporting some vampire teeth around the locker room in the meantime.
“Once I heal, I will probably get those flippers so my kids aren’t afraid of me at home,” he said.