It is being reported via Twitter that the Tampa Bay Lightning have traded veteran defenseman Pavel Kubina to the Philadelphia Flyers in a transaction that is pending league approval. Although it has not yet been confirmed, it appears that the Flyers have sent a pair of draft picks to Tampa Bay in exchange for Kubina, which seems like a great deal for Philly.
The Lightning's actions with Kubina earlier in the week suggested that Kubina was definitely going to be traded before the deadline on February 27, but it was unclear as to who their trading partners would be. It was widely speculated that the New York Rangers would be the lead team in the Kubina sweepstakes since they are in need of an offensive-defenseman at a cheap price. I expanded why this would be a smart move for GM Glen Sather and the Blueshirts just yesterday.
But with tonight's news, Kubina is officially off the board (assuming the trade is approved by the NHL) and the Rangers will need to set their sights on a different player(s) if they are looking to make a swap before the trade deadline. Again, the Rangers do not necessarily have to make any moves since the current roster has already proven it can be successful, but if Sather is focused on a run to the Stanley Cup, I'm sure the phone lines are open.
More importantly, the Kubina trade makes an already threatening Philadelphia Flyers team even more dangerous in the Eastern Conference. For just two draft picks, I like this move by GM Paul Holmgren. Kubina is no Chris Pronger (out for the season), but he can fill an offensive role on the blue-line. We'll see how this works out for them.
Kubina has one year remaining on his contract at just $3.85 million.