Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata will not receive a contract extension before the team's season opener tonight, sources confirmed late Wednesday.
Vrbata has been the club's most consistent scoring threat over the past four seasons, notching 90 goals despite missing 14 games of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season with a fracture in his foot.
He said in early September that he was hoping to have a deal done before he enters the final year of his three-year, 9-million deal, so that it would not become a distraction. But it appears Vrbata and his agent, Rich Evans, are open to further overtures during the season from general manager Don Maloney.
Both sides understand that the longer this drags on, the greater the risk becomes. If Vrbata doesn't produce on a line that is still noticeably missing a playmaker, he could cost himself some leverage and money. However, if Vrbata produces as he has recently, he could choose to test free agency and command a higher price.
Maloney had preliminary d...