Jul 1, 2012, 2:59 PM EST
For the second consecutive summer, Florida GM Dale Tallon has raised eyebrows in free agency.
The deal represents a slight pay raise for the 35-year-old Kuba who, on his last deal, had an average annual salary of $3.7 million. It also reunites the Czech rearguard with the team that drafted him in the eighth round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft (Kuba made his NHL debut with the panthers in 1998-99.)
That said, this deal is loaded with questions.
There’s no denying Kuba’s an established NHL defenseman, but one has to wonder what Kuba the Panthers are getting.
Is it the guy that stumbled to a 16-point, minus-26 season in 2010-11?
Or is it the guy that rebounded with a 32-point, plus-26 campaign last season — in what (coincidentally) happened to be a contract year? (While playing with Erik Karlsson, don’t forget.)
Whatever the case, one thing’s for certain — the Panthers blueline didn’t get any younger with this acquisition. Kuba will be 36 in December, which is slightly younger than Ed Jovanovski, who turned the big 3-6 in June.
- TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend 0
- Report: Laviolette a candidate to replace Capuano 12
- Sharks say Fleury was ‘shaky’ and ‘fighting it’ in 44-save victory 45
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) 54
- Seguin (concussion) cleared to play tonight 0
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ 87
- Will the Rangers use a compliance buyout on Richards? 9
- Malkin (lower body) to miss tonight’s game versus Sharks 20
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 59
- Columbus puts Bobrovsky (groin) on IR, out 4-5 weeks 3
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (87)
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ (59)
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) (54)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (53)
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)