Jul 1, 2012, 2:59 PM EDT
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.
- Wild’s Dubnyk shakes off six-goal night, saves 36 as Blues pushed to brink 9
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 4
- Malkin: ‘I want to say sorry to fans, to my teammates’ 20
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime 91
- Sens’ Anderson continues to haunt Habs, forces Game 6 10
- Price, Dubnyk, Rinne are Vezina Trophy finalists 16
- Chicago to start Darling in Game 6 17
- Chiarelli named Oilers’ GM and president of hockey ops 35
- Weber out for remainder of series, but ‘did not suffer an ACL injury’ 6
- Report: Oilers’ Lowe removed from Hockey Ops role 19
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall (174)
- Too little, too late: Rangers stifle Penguins for 2-1 series lead (114)
- Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’ (98)
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime (93)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (89)