Two interesting bits of news this morning as the NHL trade deadline nears …
The Tampa Bay Lightning had asked Pavel Kubina to waive his no-trade clause and "submit a list of teams to which he would accept a trade," according to Damien Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times. With that, GM Steve Yzerman signals that the Lightning are sellers ...
Kubina has value, for sure, as a veteran defenseman with an expiring contract. Other than Tampa, he's played in Toronto and with the Thrashers (RIP). He played under Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster; he played for New York Rangers Coach John Tortorella, which has led to plenty of speculation. From the New York Daily News:
There is nothing imminent between Kubina and the Rangers. The veteran Czech defenseman won a Cup with John Tortorella, Brad Richards and Ruslan Fedotenko in Tampa in 2004, and he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, when he's a $3.85 million cap hit for the full year. So he seemed like a logical fit for a club needing defensive depth, but there's nothing imminent to New York.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Southeast Division, Mike Knuble will apparently still be a member of the Washington Capitals.
Knuble expressed his frustrations recently about being a healthy scratch and not getting ice time under Coach Dale Hunter. Signs pointed to Knuble being moved at the deadline.
According to the Washington Times and GM George McPhee, that's not the case:
The Caps' general manager said Thursday: "We have no interest in trading" Knuble. He also expects the 39-year-old veteran to be in the lineup this weekend.
Murf from Homer McFanboy had this take on Knuble:
Everything about this season has ranked somewhere between utter disappointment and horrific train wreck, and Knuble's production clearly isn't where anyone involved would like to see it.
So do the noble thing and trade the veteran to a playoff contender. He deserves that much, rather than being forced out of the lineup in favor of a minor league goon with no discernible talent like Rechlicz.
No one is suggesting that Hunter should be required to use players he doesn't think give his team the best chance to win with. I'm just saying that if he's no longer wanted here, the right thing to do is to ship him off to a team who is actually interested in adding a gritty veteran to the roster for a playoff push.
He's right: Knuble could have been the Recchi for a Cup contender this season. Not saying the Capitals aren't a Cup contender, mind you …