Tag: Filip Kuba


Norris winner Karlsson has a new partner on defense


Marc Methot is a happy guy.

On Tuesday, Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean confirmed Methot — acquired from Columbus in exchange for Nick Foligno in July — would pair up with reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson when the Senators begin the regular season.

“It’s awesome,” Methot told the Ottawa Sun. “I had a talk with [MacLean] right after I was traded. He sat me down, told me what was expected and there was a little bit of a layoff since then.

“I’m looking forward to that challenge.”

Methot will replace Filip Kuba, Karlsson’s defensive partner from a year ago (Kuba signed with Florida this summer.)

Those are some big shoes to fill — the veteran Czech blueliner was a steadying influence, playing the kind of complimentary, defensive game that proved vital to Karlsson’s 78-point explosion.

Methot said he knows what he’ll need to do to keep Karlsson producing offensively.

“You could compare to the way the Kings played when they had [Drew] Doughty paired with [Rob] Scuderi or [Matt] Greene or whoever [Doughty’s] partner was,” he explained. “You make sure you watch his back in terms of jumping up into the play.

“Really, I’ve just got to keep my game pretty simple and let him take care of the rest.”

Related: Pens to audition linemates for Malkin and Neal

Report: Kovalev to attend Panthers camp


Alexei Kovalev is taking another kick at the can.

That’s the word out of Florida on Tuesday — the veteran forward has reportedly accepted an invite to Panthers training camp, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald.

Kovalev, who will turn 40 in February, last played in the NHL during the 2010-11 season, racking up 16G-18A-34PTS in 74 games split between Ottawa and Pittsburgh.

He spent the 2011-12 season with KHL Atlant and has been without a club this year, spending most of his time rehabbing a bothersome knee (though he did practice with Swiss second division team Martigny for a spell.)

Kovalev does have some ties to the Panthers organization. He played with goalie Jose Theodore in Montreal and spent a season with Filip Kuba in Ottawa.

Of note, Kovalev won’t be the only reclamation project attending Florida’s training camp. Another veteran forward, Marek Svatos, will also be participating after taking last year off to recover from injury.


Richards spoke with Kovalev on Tuesday:

Kovalev said a few teams asked him about coming to camp, but he seems to like the Panthers and Kevin Dineen.

“I like the people in the organization and they changed the coach. I played against him many times. I know what they have done, I saw what they did last year with the changes and making the playoffs. I feel this is a good place for me, a good environment with the organization and the players.”

“No one has promised me anything. They just want me to come in and they are hoping I make the team. I don’t know. I can’t predict anything. I’m just going to do what I’m able to do and we’ll see what happens. They could go with the younger guys or something like that. You never know. It’s just good to have the chance to come to camp and hopefully make the team.”

It sounds like ex-Canadien and Predator Andrei Kostitsyn will also be at Florida’s training camp.

More departures: Kuba leaves Czech team, Stewart bolts England

Anthony Stewart 3

A few NHL-related transactions to pass along…

Kuba done with Vitkovice…for now

Florida Panthers defenseman Filip Kuba has parted ways with HC Vitkovice Steel of the Czech Extraliga, according to the team website.

Kuba signed with Vitkovice back in early November and appeared in 11 games, scoring four points.

In a lengthy Q&A, he explained the reasons for his decision to leave — one, his family was still in North America and two, he believes the NHL could resume play soon.

(Warning: Google Translate ahoy!)

Q: Do you believe that the NHL could soon start up, or is it your wish?

Kuba: I believe that it will.

Q: Do you have any specific messages that have not yet been leaking to the public?

Kuba: Not really. Alone I actually just what is in the media. That the situation escalates, the two sides are actually already backed into a corner, one harms another. I think it’s not so, and I believe that by the end of December, both parties agree and then starts playing again.

Kuba went on to say that if the season is canceled, he would likely re-join Viktovice for the year.

Stewart exits Nottingham

Carolina forward Anthony Stewart left EIHL club Nottingham on Friday on the advice of his agent, Eustace King.

“That’s not necessarily reading into anything about the [CBA] talks,” Stewart told the Raleigh News and Observer. “It was just in case we do get going … I don’t want to have played too many games. If we get going it’s going to be a lot of games in a short time.”

Stewart appeared in 19 games for Nottingham, scoring 11 points. He’s headed into the final season of a two-year, $1.8 million deal with the ‘Canes and credited the Panthers and the EIHL for keeping him sharp during he lockout.

“It’s a big ice surface and some guys are really fast,” he said of the UK-based circuit. “It’s a skating league.”

It should be noted that many European leagues are on their Winter/Christmas break and, ergo, many players’ departures are corresponding with that time off.

Report: Dallas’ Eriksson to join Thornton, Nash with Swiss club Davos

Loui Eriksson

Switzerland’s National League “A” continued to stockpile NHL talent on Monday as Dallas Stars forward Loui Eriksson agreed to a lockout deal with HC Davos.

It’s not surprising that Davos — which already employs Rick Nash and Joe Thornton — would make a play for a third NHL All-Star.

Later this month, the club will host the annual Spengler Cup, a prestigious six-team tournament featuring some of Europe’s finest clubs (and the Canadian National Team).

The 2012 Spengler will take place from Dec. 26-31 with Davos, Team Canada, Germany’s Adler Mannheim, Switzerland’s Fribourg-Gotteron, the Czech Republic’s HC Vitkovice Steel and Russia’s Salavat Yulaev Ufa all competing.

(Because of the lockout, NHL players currently slated to participate include Jason Pominville, Marcel Goc, Dennis Seidenberg, David Desharnais, Filip Kuba and Roman Polak.)

As for Eriksson…

The 27-year-old is coming off another stellar campaign in Dallas, having led the team in assists (45), points (71), plus-minus (plus-18) and shorthanded goals (two).  He finished fifth in voting among left wingers for the All-NHL teams and fourth in voting for the 2012 Lady Byng trophy.

Now he’s set to join a Davos club that, despite the influx of NHL talent, has struggled this season. Davos currently sits in eighth place in the 12-team National League “A”, 13-points back of first-place Geneve-Servette.

Panthers’ Kuba signs in Czech Extraliga

Filip Kuba

Florida defenseman Filip Kuba has agreed to join HC Vitkovice Steel on a lockout deal, according to the club website.

Kuba, 35, represented Vitkovice at both the junior and senior levels before joining the Florida organization back in 1998. He opted not to play with the club during the 2004-05 lockout.

It’s likely that Kuba signed in the Czech Republic to get in shape for the (theoretical) start of the NHL campaign. He’ll be under the microscope when play resumes, thanks largely to the two-year, $8 million deal he signed with the Panthers in July.

Kuba moved to Florida after spending the last three years in Ottawa. His final season with the Senators paved the way for a big payday — Kuba notched 6G-26A-32PTS in 73 games last year, leading all Sens with a plus-26 rating.

He also finished second to Erik Karlsson for average time on ice, playing over 23 minutes a night.

With Vitkovice, Kuba will join a team featuring a number of former and locked-out NHLers: Roman Polak, Pavel Kubina, Marek Malik and Michal Barinka.