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Lightning to sit Kubina, explore trade options

Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 11:49 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  / NHL.com Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog

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NHL.com Countdown to the Trade Deadline blog
Lightning to sit Kubina, explore trade options
The Tampa Bay Lightning are holding defenseman Pavel Kubina out of the lineup, and he’s been asked which teams he would be willing to accept a trade to, the team announced Thursday.

Kubina is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and he has a limited no-trade clause. General manager Steve Yzerman told reporters Thursday morning that a trade is not imminent, but Kubina will be scratched from the lineup for the time being.

A 34-year-old defenseman, Kubina has three goals and 11 points for the Lightning this season. He’s in the second of a two-year contract that carries a $3.8 million cap hit. Kubina has played parts of 14 seasons in the NHL and has 953 career games on his resume. He also won the Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Lightning.

Tampa Bay is currently in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and 10 points out of a spot in the top eight. The Lightning recently had a 6-0-1 stretch that offered a glimmer of hope, but they’ve lost four of five since then.

Yzerman told Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday that he was prepared to make moves for the future.

“We have to look at any opportunity that makes us a stronger organization moving forward based on where we stand today," Yzerman said to Cristodero.

“We're not going to just give our guys away. But if there is an opportunity that makes us a better organization, we're going to consider it.”

One of the biggest holes in the long-term future for the Lightning is the lack of a franchise goaltender. Dwayne Roloson was great last season but has struggled this campaign and is 42 years old, and there isn’t a top goaltending prospect in the system.

Yzerman told reporters Thursday not to expect a solution in the next 11 days though. He called the deadline a “time to replenish [organizational] depth, so prospects, draft choices are [the] priority,” according to Cristodero, and also said the goaltending quandary is “a likely summer project.”
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