After sitting him for Thursday night’s game against the Sharks, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the Tampa Bay Lightning traded defenseman Pavel Kubina. The Lightning dealt fellow blue-liner Dominic Moore before their game against the Sharks, but it took a few more days for them to finalize a trade for Kubina.
Then finally, on late Saturday night the news came out: the Lightning were sending Kubina to the Philadelphia Flyers for a package of draft picks and prospects:
The Lightning received a conditional second-round draft pick for either 2012 or ’13, a 2013 fourth-round pick and minor-league LW Jon Kalinski, who will be assigned to AHL Norfolk. (Tampa Bay Times)
Kalinski was tossed in because the Flyers needed to shed a contract to stay under the 50-contract cap, but he is young (24) and has some limited NHL experience. GM Steve Yzerman sees him as a valuable asset on the penalty kill, and considering the state of the Lightning’s defense at the moment, he could see time with the Bolts over the remainder of the season.
The Lightning now have up to four second-round draft picks in the 2012 draft, which will allow the Bolts to either restock their system or trade for a position of need this off-season (like a young, successful goalie). Yzerman has also managed to ship off two players that were going to be unrestricted free agents this off-season, essentially bringing in draft picks for players that would have otherwise walked away for nothing. It’s a sound strategy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Yzerman isn’t yet done for this trading season.
The NHL trade deadline is still a week away, and there are a number of players on the Lightning that could still be dealt (Brett Clark, Steve Downie, etc.). Even though the Bolts aren’t in contention any more, this could be one heck of an interesting deadline season.
For more on the Bolts, check out the Tampa Bay Lightning blog Raw Charge.