The Philadelphia Daily News writes that Pavel Kubina headed out of town with a smile on his face. He was not bitter that he was a healthy scratch in 6 out of the Flyers’ 11 Stanley Cup playoff games. He was not angry that he was shuffled to the sidelines after such a small sample size of an audition with the Flyers in March and April.
Surprisingly, Kubina was thankful for the opportunity.
“I would have liked to be playing, that is for sure,” Kubina told the Daily News. “But this was a great experience for me. I leave here knowing this was a tight group. I had so much fun. I had a chance to play for this team, one of the top organizations in the league. I really liked it here.”
Kubina was acquired on Feb. 18 from Tampa Bay in exchange for Phantoms forward Jon Kalinski, Florida’s 2nd round pick in 2012, and the Flyers’ fourth round pick in 2013.
He played 22 total games with the Flyers, including playoffs.
Kubina, 37, isn’t sure what’s next. He is coming off a two-year deal in which he made $3.85 million per season, a big number for a player whose career is clearly on the decline. He waived his limited no-trade clause to come to the Flyers in February.
If healthy, Kubina would make a decent depth defenseman somewhere at a significantly reduced salary. In the $1 million range, he would be a decent veteran presence to round out a defense crops. He is a Stanley Cup winner, a proven shutdown defender, and a physical presence with a right-handed shot the Flyers could use. And his positive attitude always helps.
“Hopefully I can play for a few more years,” Kubina said. “I love this game, that’s why I came here. If the Flyers called me, I would answer. I think Paul Holmgren did a great job with this team. If you look at this team, you look at their age with 10 guys around 20-22 years, you realize how much potential and future they have. They’re going to be in great shape for the next 5-to-10 years. They’re just going to get better.”