From Bob McKenzie:
"Radim is a great guy and he came into our office on Sunday morning and just told us his confidence is low and he would like to head home to the Czech Republic to finish the season," Lightning owner Oren Koules told TSN. "He just wants to take the rest of the year off (from the NHL) and try to get his game back over there. If he wants to come back next season, great. That's his call. This is all very amicable. He's a great guy who's really struggling right now."Vrbata was part of Tampa Bay's summer of spending, inking a three-year, $9 million deal after a career year with the Coyotes a season ago. He scored 27 goals for Phoenix, but hit a wall in the final two months, not scoring over the final 22 games of the season. He had three goals for the Lightning in 18 games this season.
Meanwhile, as long as the Lightning were making a roster move, they probably just figured, "hey, what the heck, let's make another one," as they also placed 14-year veteran Chris Gratton on waivers.
He had no goals and two assists on the season, after picking up 10 goals and 11 asssists in 61 games with Tampa Bay a year ago. He was taken by Tampa Bay with No. 3 pick in the 1993 draft, and has bounced around the league playing for the Lightning, Panthers, Flyers, Sabres, and Coyotes, scoring 214 goals.
Thus far, the Lightning have been a tremendous disappointment, at least based on preseason hype, as they currently have the worst record in the league. They fired their head coach after just 16 games, and have made countless roster moves, including the trading of defenseman Matt Carle, who was supposed to be the centerpiece of the deal that sent Dan Boyle to San Jose.