Pavel Kubina, who won the Stanley Cup in 2004 and played in 970 NHL games, has decided to hang up his skates.
“Making my way to the NHL and playing in the best league in the world for 13 seasons has been a dream come true,” Kubina said, courtesy of the NHLPA.
“I will be forever grateful for the experiences and friendships that I have gained over the course of my career, including capturing the Stanley Cup in Tampa in 2004. Thank you to Phil Esposito for drafting me and giving me a chance to play for the Lightning. I also would like to thank my family and friends for their support throughout my hockey journey.”
Kubina was originally taken by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the 179th overall pick in the 1996 NHL Entry. Starting with the 2000-01 campaign, Kubina recorded at least 30 points in seven of nine seasons. Overall, the defenseman had 110 goals, 386 points, and 1,123 penalty minutes with Tampa Bay, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Atlanta Thrashers, and Philadelphia Flyers.
He also played for the Czech Republic in the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Winter Olympics and earned a bronze medal in 2006. His final NHL campaign was 2011-12, but he attempted to extend his career by signing with Geneve Servette of the Swiss League. He ended up playing in just three contests.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.