Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kuba Looking Good for Senators

The Ottawa Sun tells us today that Kuba was indeed shocked when he heard he had been traded. He was excited to see a practically new team with new players, coach, and owners, but he has hope that he can do well in Ottawa. He's not the only one either. John Tortorella was on TEAM 1200 Thursday, saying that Kuba will get a chance to shine offensively, even speculating that he might not yet have hit his peak performance years, which would indeed be a boon to Ottawa.

Considering how many people were stoked when Torts was still a potential candidate for the Ottawa Senators head coaching job this summer, hopefully they can get stoked for Kuba too. Last season, he had 75GP, 6-25--31 for .413P/G, going -8 with 40PIM. How can we further brighten that? Well, he managed to do it on the worst team in the league last year, and that should speak for itself. Of his 31 points, only 11 were on the powerplay, so he's not just a one-use specialist; he even has a shorthanded assist to his name. Yes, that's right, he kills penalties too (imagine that! a defenseman who can help put numbers up on the board, and prevent the other team from doing so as well?).

Indeed, he spent five seasons in Minnesota's defensive system before moving to Tampa for the last two. Despite the defensive leash the Wild's players find themselves on, he still managed to get between .312 and .400P/G, and it was undoubtedly his honed skills at both ends of the ice that drew Feaster, and now Murray, to him. People might continue to be down on plus-30 players as they certainly seem to feel in Ottawa, but last season he would slot in right behind Meszaros' point total on our team, and his -8 put him right in the middle of Tampa's pack. Just as the solid defensive instincts of nearly all our players would have helped Mez had he stuck around, I can't help but be excited to see what Kuba can, and I'm sure will, bring to the rink this season.

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