OTTAWA - Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today the club has traded defenceman Andrej Meszaros to the Tampa Bay Lightning for defencemen Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard and a first-round pick in the 2009 National Hockey League Entry draft (acquired by Tampa from San Jose).
Kuba, a native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, has been with the Lightning for the past two seasons signing as a free agent in July 2006. In his ninth NHL campaign in 2007-08, he collected six goals, 25 assists and 40 penalty minutes in 75 games. The 6-5, 225-pound defenceman has 207 points (55-152) and 239 penalty minutes over 531 career games.
The 31-year-old was the Florida Panthers’ eighth round choice (192nd overall) in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He played his first two NHL seasons with the Panthers. Kuba was traded to the Calgary Flames for Rocky Thompson on March 16, 2000, but claimed by the Minnesota Wild from the Flames in expansion draft on June 23, 2000. He played the next five seasons, from 2000-01 to 2005-06, with the Wild.
Picard, a native of Gatineau, Que., was acquired from the Lightning from the Philadelphia Flyers in a trade for Vaclav Prospal and future considerations on Feb. 25, 2008. The 22-year-old finished his third NHL season in 2007-08 with three goals and three assists and 10 penalty minutes over 24 games with the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning. Picard played four games with the Flyers, recording two penalty minutes. In 53 games with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League, he ranked first on the team and seventh in the AHL in points by a defenseman with 38. Picard represented the Phantoms at the 2008 AHL All-Star Game. He established AHL career highs this season in goals, assists and points. The 6-2, 225-pound Picard also played one game with the Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals.
In three professional seasons, Picard has recorded six goals, 22 assists and 31 penalty minutes over 92 regular season NHL games. He also has 15 goals, 58 assists and 115 penalty minutes in 135 AHL games. He played his junior hockey with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax and Cape Breton franchises. He was Flyers' third round choice (85th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
In his third full NHL season in 2007-08, Meszaros registered nine goals, 27 assists and 50 penalty minutes while appearing in all 82 regular season games with the club. Since his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2005, Meszaros has played in 246 consecutive regular season games over the last three seasons, recording 26 goals, 84 assists and 213 penalty minutes. The 22-year-old was Ottawa’s first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2004 NHL draft.