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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
Forward ranked 14th in the Czech Republic Extraleague in scoring in 2004-05

RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the Hurricanes have agreed to terms with right wing Radim Vrbata (RA-dihm vuhr-BA-tuh) on a one-year contract worth $475,000.

“Radim had an extremely productive season in the Czech Republic,” said Rutherford. “We will look for him to take the next step offensively for the Hurricanes this year.”

Vrbata, 24, led HC Bili Tygri Liberec in goals (18), assists (21) and points (39) in 2004-05, playing in 45 of Liberec’s 52 regular season games. He ranked tied for 14th in the Czech Republic Extraleague in points. The Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, native had three goals and two assists (5 points) in 12 playoff games for Liberec.

Vrbata (6’1’’, 190 lbs.) played in 80 of Carolina’s 82 regular-season games in 2003-04, scoring 12 goals and earning 13 assists (25 points). He was one of three Hurricanes players to notch a hat trick in 2003-04 when he scored three times against Pittsburgh’s Sebastien Caron on Nov. 29 in Raleigh.

The Hurricanes acquired Vrbata from Colorado at the trading deadline of the 2002-03 season (March 11) in exchange for Bates Battaglia. In 90 games with Carolina, he has scored 17 goals and earned 13 assists (30 points) while accumulating 26 penalty minutes. In 208 career regular-season games with Carolina and Colorado, he has 46 goals and 44 assists (90 points), including two 30-plus point seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03).

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