Jun 29, 2012, 11:13 AM EDT
All week leading up to July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.
Filip Kuba (D)
2011-12 cap hit: $3.5 million
After two disappointing seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Kuba bounced back last year — a contract year, coincidentally — by scoring 32 points and leading the team in plus-minus (+26).
Yet barring a last-minute surprise, he won’t re-sign in Ottawa.
Kuba’s entering the twilight of his career and is a risky acquisition after his up-and-down tenure with Ottawa. But with Dennis Wideman signing a five-year, $26.25 million contract with the Calgary Flames, he’s starting to look like a legit option for teams searching for a top-four defenseman.
With Wideman gone, it wouldn’t be surprising if Ottawa trades his negotiating rights to a team afraid of ending up empty handed.
That said, let’s not mistake Kuba as Plan B for teams that miss out on Ryan Suter. He’s essentially a cheap(er) top-four option for those that couldn’t afford Suter in the first place. Kubina won’t be a game-changer, but can be a complimentary piece for a franchise that’s already on the right path.
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