FLYERS ACQUIRE KUBINA
Just two days after acquiring defenseman Nicklas Grossman from the Dallas Stars, the Philadelphia Flyers this evening finalized a deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning, acquiring defenseman Pavel KubinaÂ in-exchangeÂ for a 2012 second round pick and 2013 4th round pick.
Kubina a 14 year NHL veteran, has 3 goals – 8 assists for 11 points and a +1 rating on the season.Â Averaging 19:54 of ice time per game, Kubina has 95 hits on the season and 100 blocked shots.
The Flyers have targeted size and toughness on the backend and accomplished that goal in the past two days adding the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Grossman and the 6-foot-4, 258-pound Kubina.
Kubina, 34, has been brought in to solidify the Flyers bottom pairing. On paper the Flyers are now among the deepest bluelines in hockey with Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros, Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle, Nicklas Grossman, Pavel Kubina among their top-6, in addition to Marc-Andre Bourdon and veteran Andreas Lilja.
It is a strong mix of skill, puck movers, toughness and shot blockers. Timonen, Meszaros, Coburn and Carle have combined for 97 points on the season, while the acquisition of Kubina gives the Flyers four defenders with 100 blocked shots or more (Carle 115, Timonen 104, Grossman 103) and three defenders in Meszaros (132), Coburn (121) and Grossman (104) who have 100+ hits at this point in the season.
For the Flyers though, as good their blueline might become, it might not matter if the goaltending does not come aroundÂ asÂ Ilya Bryzgalov is a mess right now.
Meanwhile, the acquisition of Kubina has fueled speculation even more that a body or two is going to be moved and that speculation will surely continue as the Flyers are in pursuit of star forward Rick Nash. GM Scott Howson and senior advisor Craig Patrick met with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren for 45 minutes today, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch.
The asking price is said to be a little too step but the Flyers remain in the hunt. Holmgren loves to take risks and make a big splash, which has had the Flyers lurking as a sleeper since the Nash sweepstakes heated up. Some believe teaming a star winger of Nash’s caliber with Claude Giroux also might be too much for Holmgren to pass up, despite the high asking price.
The Flyers have the young assets and goaltender in Sergei Bobrovsky that the Blue jackets seek, but the Bryzgalov situation surely has to complicate matters at this point when it comes to Bobrovsky’s availability.
In addition to Bobrovsky, Columbus is believed to be interested in James van Riemsdyk, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and Matt Carle.