Tag: Pavel Kubina

Paul Holmgren

Columnist: Flyers need defensemen, not Bobby Ryan


CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio thinks all the Bobby Ryan talk is a waste of time. If GM Paul Holmgren really wants to improve his team, he should go out and get a defenseman, not another high-scoring forward.

They don’t need 35 more goals as much as they need 35 less on the back end. Ryan (plus-1 this season) is not on par with other two-way defensive-conscious forwards such as Mike Richards, Claude Giroux or Sean Couturier. He won’t save them 35 goals.

Yeah, they’re centers and Ryan is not, but the point is: the Flyers still have a gaping hole on the blue line and Ryan isn’t going to fill it.

And if the cost of obtaining Ryan is to further weaken the blue line – Ducks GM Bob Murray reportedly wants defensive help – then such a trade makes even less sense.

Not that Holmgren hasn’t tried to address his blue line. He pushed hard to get Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, only to fall short in each attempt.

Writes Panaccio: “That Holmgren tried so hard to get the best two defensemen out there is an acknowledgement by management that Chris Pronger will never play again in Philadelphia.”

Holmgren would vehemently disagree there (at least publicly.) And he did acquire Luke Schenn in a trade with Toronto for James van Riemsdyk.

Besides, even if Holmgren does still want to add another defenseman, his options are limited. The free-agent pool is dry, save for the likes of Michal Rozsival, Pavel Kubina, Scott Hannan, Jaroslav Spacek and Carlo Colaiacovo.

Jay Bouwmeester could possibly be pried out of Calgary, but not for free.

Related: Pronger’s health represents other big question for Flyers’ D

UFA spotlight — Joe Corvo

Joe Corvo

All week leading up to July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.

Joe Corvo (D)

Age: 35

2011-12 cap hit: $2.25 million

The skinny: All right so your favorite team missed out on Ryan Suter and Matt Carle. Maybe they even missed out on Pavel Kubina or Sheldon Souray and you need a blue liner who can carry the puck and give you a big shot, know this: There’s always Joe Corvo.

Corvo can get you points, that’s never usually a problem. Having him play solid defensively is more his bugaboo. He saw his minutes cut late last season in Boston and was ultimately a healthy scratch in the playoffs in favor of Mike Mottau. Ouch. Still, if your team had hopes of landing Dennis Wideman before Calgary ponied up a king’s ransom, maybe Corvo is who your GM is hoping he’ll land. If that’s the case, however, maybe it’s already time to worry about how your team will do next season.

Other profiles:

Ryan Suter

Zach Parise

Jason Garrison

Jiri Hudler

Bryan Allen

Shane Doan

Alexander Semin

UFA spotlight — Pavel Kubina

Philadelphia Flyers v Winnipeg Jets

All week leading up to Sunday, July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.

Pavel Kubina (D)

Age: 35

2011-12 cap hit: $3.85 million

The skinny:

Considering Philadelphia repeatedly made him a healthy scratch during the playoffs, it’s tough to imagine GM Paul Holmgren bringing him back. Maybe Kubina’s right-handed shot gives him an outside chance, but that’s about it.

Kubina’s served two tours of duty with the Tampa Bay Lightning (who traded him to Philly), so perhaps GM Steve Yzerman gives him another look. As flawed as the big 35-year-old defenseman might be, he has size, a hard shot and the Bolts need as much defensive help as they can get.

Another reasonable suitor is Calgary. If the Flames were willing to give a similarly (but less useful) flawed specimen such as Anton Babchuk a try, Kubina might just make sense.

(And maybe the Carolina Hurricanes should be placed on that dart board because of their previous interest in Babchuk, too.)

All this said, it’s tough to imagine a hot market for Kubina, but it’s almost as tough to imagine his NHL days being over — unless the KHL comes calling.

More UFA spotlights

Ryan Suter

Zach Parise

Jason Garrison

Jiri Hudler

Justin Schultz

Shane Doan

Alexander Semin

Will this be the summer of RFA goalies getting offer sheets?

Cory Schneider

Over at the Globe and Mail, James Mirtle has an intriguing take on what July 1 might hold for a stellar crop of RFA goalies:

There’s Carey Price, Tuukka Rask, Ondrej Pavelec, Cory Schneider, Anders Lindback and Devan Dubnyk all in need of contracts, with two or three of those names potential targets for offer sheets when free agency opens this summer.

The Canadiens can avoid that situation with Price by electing for arbitration before July 1, but that isn’t an option until after July 1 with Rask and Schneider given their low salaries.

Both Boston and Vancouver are relatively tight against the cap as well, with big salaries dedicated to Thomas (even if he doesn’t play) and Luongo making their goaltending situations precarious.

Some in the hockey world I’ve spoken with think this is being contemplated and that one reason GMs Steve Yzerman and Brian Burke have been so quiet on the goaltending front is that they plan on making a bold play on July 1.

Some notes:

— Under the current CBA, RFA compensation works like this:

$1,034,249 annual cap hit or less: No compensation
$1,034,249 — $1,567,043: Third-round pick
$1,567,043 — $3,134,088: Second-round pick
$3,134,088 — $4,701,131: First and third-round pick
$4,701,131 — $6,268,175: First, second and third-round pick
$6,268,175 — $7,835,219: Two first-round picks, a second and third
$7,835,219 and higher: Four first-round picks

— Teams need to have their original draft picks for compensation. They can’t use picks acquired via trade.

— The Lightning have five picks in the top 50 at the 2012 draft: No. 10, No. 19 (from Detroit in the Kyle Quincey trade), No. 37 (from San Jose in the Dominic Moore trade), No. 40 and No. 50 (from Philly in the Pavel Kubina trade). They also have a third round pick at No. 71.

— As for compensatory picks, Tampa also has all its picks in 2013 and an extra second rounder (again, from the Kubina deal).

— As such, Yzerman’s in an amazing position to throw out an offer sheet and still obtain young talent. For example, he could sign any of the above RFA goalies to a deal that pays, say, $6 million annually and lose his first- second- and third-round picks in 2013. The loss of those picks would be mitigated by his slew of young draftees from 2012.

— That said, some consider offer sheeting RFAs dirty pool. Plenty of GMs don’t like it and only six have been signed since the lockout — Ryan Kesler (Philadelphia), Thomas Vanek (Edmonton), Dustin Penner (Edmonton), David Backes (Vancouver), Steve Bernier (St. Louis) and Niklas Hjalmarsson (San Jose) with only Penner actually moving teams — a move that caused great acrimony between then-Anaheim GM Brian Burke and Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe.

Flyers owner: “If Pronger and Meszaros had been healthy in the playoffs, we would have won the whole thing”

pronger meszaros

On the eve of a Kings-Devils Stanley Cup finals, Ed Snider wondered what could’ve been.

The Flyers owner told Philly.com that, had defensemen Chris Pronger and Andrej Meszaros been healthy for the playoffs, it would’ve been his team playing in the Cup finals.

Winning it, too.

“I honestly think if Pronger and Meszaros had been healthy in the playoffs, we would have won the whole thing,” Snider said. “I don’t like to cry about injuries, buy you just can’t lose a Pronger and replace him. And then on top of that, you lose Meszaros and [Marc-Andre] Bourdon.”

The Flyers lost Pronger for the season on Nov. 19 (concussion) and were without Meszaros (back) for all but one of their playoff contests — the Game 5 loss to New Jersey that ended their season.

An upper-body injury limited Bourdon to just one playoff appearance.

As such, Philly’s defense was a patchwork job. The trade deadline acquisition of Nicklas Grossmann worked out well and, despite missing some time with a concussion, he played well enough to warrant a four-year, $14 million extension.

The Flyers’ other deadline pickup, Pavel Kubina, fared much worse and ended up a healthy scratch by postseason’s end.

This forced head coach Peter Laviolette to rely mostly on Braydon Coburn, Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle while squeezing minutes out of Erik Gustafsson and Andreas Lilja. All told, Philly dressed nine different defencemen during the playoffs, a fairly good indicator of how patchwork it was.

Of course, saying the Flyers had a patchwork defense is a far cry from saying “with Pronger and Meszaros, they win the Cup.”