FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, March 9, 2017
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Arizona Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata will skate in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight versus the Ottawa Senators at Gila River Arena. The Coyotes will hold a pregame ceremony honoring Vrbata's 1,000th game milestone on Saturday, March 18th, versus the St. Louis Blues.
Vrbata will become the 310th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000 game milestone and only the 12th player in franchise history to skate in his 1,000th game with the franchise (Serge Savard, Randy Carlyle, Rick Tocchet, Teppo Numminen, Paul Ranheim, Geoff Sanderson, Shane Doan, Ed Jovanovski, Adrian Aucoin, Derek Morris & Steve Sullivan).
The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Vrbata was originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche (7th round, 212th overall) in the 1999 Entry Draft. In 15 NHL seasons with Colorado, Carolina, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Arizona, the 35-year-old native of Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic has recorded 274-328-602 and 272 penalty minutes (PIM) in 999 career NHL games. Vrbata has also appeared in 42 career Stanley Cup playoff games registering 8-10-18 and 12 PIM.
Vrbata has registered 152-184-336 in 493 career games with the Coyotes, which are his most games among the six franchises he has skated for. The veteran forward currently ranks 11th on the franchise's all-time points list and is tied with Jeremy Roenick and Laurie Boschman for the eighth-most goals in franchise history.
This season, Vrbata leads the Coyotes in scoring with 15-33-48 in 65 games while he collected his 600th career NHL point by scoring the game-winning goal with 18 seconds left versus the Buffalo Sabres on February 26th. Vrbata recently became one of just seven NHL players to have a 10-game or longer point streak this season, which is his new career-long and tied for the second-longest in Coyotes history (Feb. 11- 28; 4-8-12).