Originally written on The 6th Sens  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Ottawa_senators_v_efac


While Wayne Scanlan's reporting (and podcast appearence with Graeme and Creech) had pegged the possibiltiy as "unlikely". In a blog post last Friday Pierre Lebrun seemed to suggest the Senators hadn't completely closed the door on bringing Kuba back next season.

"Senators GM Bryan Murray told ESPN.com on Friday that he has touched base with Filip Kuba's camp (including agent Richard Evans) and hopes to do so again in a week or so.

Kuba played most of the season alongside offensive machine Erik Karlsson in Ottawa and is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"We're interested in keeping him, but obviously it has to make sense for us financially," Murray said.

Kuba, 35, just finished a three-year deal that paid him $3.7 million per season. My guess is that Ottawa would want him back for south of that figure.

This could just be the Senators creating leverage - or doing a courtesy by talking to Kuba's people. I"m not sure. But if the organization is thinking of bringing Kuba back, what exactly are they investing in?

The following graphic is borrowed from a Rob Vollman piece that ran last week on nhlnumbers.com comparing the league's top-pairing defenseman. I urge you all to check it out:


While it's true that Kuba and Karlsson faced the toughest defensive assignments on the Senators...relative to the rest of the league's top-pairing defenseman they faced among the easiest minutes. Favourable zone-starts and below average quality of competition (for top-pairing d-men) was a diet Karlsson feasted on. Kuba did not fare as well, nevermind being paired with one of the league's best play drivers for 88% of his even-strength minutes. You'll notice that some players above are surrounded by blue bubbles (good) and others white (bad), these are markers of possession - positive and negative. The fact #17 was giving up more shots at evens despite these advantages should be concerning.

Seperating Kuba and Karlsson lays bare just what an anchor the former was - this table compares the percentage of play (corsi) Kuba controlled 5on5 with and without EK.

Player With Karlsson
Without Karlsson
Filip Kuba 53.2%
44.2%
That is not good. 

Just for comparison's sake when Karlsson was seperated from Kuba the Senators had 58.8% of corsi events.

I've seen many (fans and media) argue that Kuba's steadiying veteran presence was instrumental to Karlsson's success this season...ergo the Sens must bring him back. In reality it's the other way around, Kuba better hope the Sens re-sign him as Karlsson is keeping him afloat.

For these reasons I'd hope the Senators exhaust all other options before re-upping a 35-year-old (going on 36 in December) Kuba to play top-pairing minutes.

Malcolm Subban Works Out With The Sens

After hearing Pierre Dorion on multipe occasions state that drafting a goaltender is something that is "done for need", I'm not too concerned the organization is going to take one with their first rounder this year. Nevertheless Malcolm Subban was on the ice in Kanata today:

Great time in Ottawa. Good ice sesh and lunch with the staff. Also great to see @mpuempel putting work in the gym. #mindstate

— Malcolm Subban (@SubbZero30) June 12, 2012

Zone Entries

Eric T over at BroadStreetHockey has started to publish his multi-part anaylysis of the Flyers zone entries this past season. It's interesting stuff to say the least:

One exception to the above is Wayne Simmonds, who was by far the least effective of the top 9 forwards at retaining possession of the puck, yet was the second-most involved. It may not be fair to Simmonds -- perhaps the team asked him to do this or the passes he was fed led to it -- but I picture the guy in your pick-up basketball game who jacks it up from the outside every time he gets the ball. He was on a line with Briere for most of the year, and for whatever reason, Briere ended up with much fewer zone entries than comparable performers (Voracek, Giroux) and Simmonds ended up with a lot more than he should have. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.