A day after picking up defenseman Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars for a pair of draft picks, Paul Holmgren made another move to bolster his failing blueline by acquiring Pavel Kubina from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, Tampa received the conditional second-round pick they received from the Florida Panthers in the trade for Kris Versteeg, as well as a fourth-round selection in 2013. Philadelphia would have been over the 50-man contract limit, but the Bolts also received minor league forward Jon Kalinski in return.
The Flyers continued a trend of dealing with Tampa Bay. The teams have dealt with each other several times in the past few years, with Philadelphia adding defensemen Matt Carle, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Walker, and now Kubina.
At 6' 4", and 258 pounds, the 34-year-old Kubina gives Philly another large body to patrol the front of their net. He also adds an element that has been missing on the club's back line for years -- since Eric Desjardins retired, to be exact -- and that is a right-handed shot from the point. Kubina possesses a cannon shot, and should give the club a trigger man on the power play.
In 52 games this season, Kubina has three goals, 11 points, 59 PIMs, and a +1 rating. That's a +1 plus / minus rating playing for a team with a -33 goal differential as they struggle through a horrible year.
He is likely to be paired with Carle on the team's second defense pairing, with the rear guard unit taking on this appearance:
Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Carle - Kubina
Meszaros - Grossman
Extras: Andreas Lilja, Marc-Andre Bourdon (though like Erik Gustafsson, likely to be sent to AHL Phantoms)
Kubina has amassed 110 goals, 382 points, and 1,108 PIMs in 953 career games over the course of 13 NHL seasons. He has played for the Lightning (twice), Toronto Maple Leafs, and Atlanta Thrashers. He won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2003-04, the last year before the lockout.
Also confirming the train of thought that another Holmgren trade is imminent is the fact the addition of the defenseman pushes Philly over the upper salary cap limit. According to CapGeek, the Flyers are almost $500,000 above the limit.
One rumor that will not go away is that Rick Nash is soon to be Philly-bound. TSN's Darren Dreger reported via Twitter that the return that the Columbus Blue Jackets are seeking would be James van Riemsdyk, Sergei Bobrovski, Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier. Dreger also said Holmgren feels that price is too high, and they may revisit a deal in some similar form.