Yzerman on trading Kubina: “We see potential opportunity to improve our club”


Shortly after holding Pavel Kubina out of practice to “protect our interest”, Lighting GM Steve Yzerman spoke with the Tampa Tribune about what’s in store for his veteran blueliner.

“We’re making our decisions on a player-by-player and opportunity-by-opportunity basis,” Yzerman said. “We see potential opportunity to improve our club with regards to Pavel.”

Translation: Someone (maybe more than one) has expressed interest in acquiring the 34-year-old defenseman.

Because of this interest, Yzerman has asked Kubina to work within the confines of his modified no-trade clause and provide a list of teams to which he is willing to be traded. Also, not to practice or play anymore.

“In the interim, we’ve decided to protect our interest and keep Pavel off the ice until this situation is resolved,” Yzerman said. “The broader strategy is we want to be a better team in the future. We want to be a Cup contender at some point, and we’re going to have to do some things to become that.”

Kubina becoming a commodity shouldn’t come as a surprise. Many of the defensemen expected to be available at the deadline — Francois Beauchemin, Tim Gleason, Andy Sutton — have re-upped with their respective teams, meaning there are fewer options for plug-and-play blueliners at this stage of the season.

Kubina’s had an average year (3G-8A-11PTS) but is still a big, right-handed shooting defenseman that can play 20 minutes a night and has plenty of playoff experience, winning a Stanley Cup with Tampa in 2004.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
Leave a comment

This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
Leave a comment

Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.