Senators Player Profile: Filip Kuba

The is the nineteenth in a series of profiles on each player for the Ottawa Senators.

Filip Kuba, D, Contract: 3.7/12 (UFA)
T 2008 (Murray), 6’4, Shoots L, YOB 1976, Ostrava, Cze
2008-09 71-3-37-40 +4 28pim TOI 23:16 BkS 111
2009-10 53-3-25-28 -5 28pim TOI 22:51 BkS 86
2010-11 64-2-14-16 -26 16pim TOI 20:43 BkS 104

The major piece in the Andrej Meszaros trade, Kuba responded by having a career year with the Senators as they missed the playoffs for the first time since 1995-96.  Bryan Murray rewarded Kuba with a three-year contract, whose term I wasn’t a fan of, but the contract was generally well-received (community.foxsports.com/Spector/blog/ 2009/03/04/Senators_Resign_Kuba_Trade_Vermette_to_Columbus).

The following year (2009-10) Kuba was not quite as good, but close to the numbers he’d posted previously when injury derailed his season.  Serious back problems had him rehabbing throughout the off-season.  He proceeded to break his leg the first day of training camp (http://senators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=538001) and when he eventually returned he wasn’t the same player.  The Senators tried hard to trade him at the deadline (http://www.ottawasun.com/sports/hockey/2011/03/05/17507741.html), but there was no appetite for the term left on his contract.

I think at this point in his career in Ottawa that Kuba is never going to make the fans happy.  He’s not a top-pairing defenceman and is better served logging second pair minutes (I don’t agree about his precipitous decline as outlined here senshot.com/2011/ 07/23/can-filip-kuba-have-a-bounce-back-season/).  If he’s healthy I believe he’ll return to form, although it’s very unlikely he remains a Senator through the entire season.  Should he play out the season I expect he’ll put up 30-35 points with 3-5 goals.

Kuba scoring an OT winner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvJ3NJu5_Yg
Profile during the 2009-10 season: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yb13Knf0KA

Next up is Craig Anderson.

Senators Player Profile: Daniel Alfredsson

The is the eighteenth in a series of profiles on each player for the Ottawa Senators.

Daniel Alfredsson, RW, Contract: 4.875/13 (UFA)
6-133/94 (Sexton), 5’11, Shoots R, YOB 1972, Goteborg, Swe
2008-09 79-24-50-74 +7 24pim TOI 20:52 TkA 72
2009-10 70-20-51-71 +8 22pim TOI 19:39 TkA 76
2010-11 54-14-17-31 -19 18pim TOI 19:16 TkA 45

The long time captain of the Ottawa Senators (since 1999-2000), Alfredsson lead the team in scoring the previous two seasons before injury derailed him this year (a very detailed account of the injury can be found here www.silversevensens.com/2011/6/13/ 2212491/even-daniel-alfredsson-cant-skate-off-a-numb-leg, with Alfredsson‘s thoughts here http://www.torontosun.com/sports/hockey/2011/04/04/17868756.html).  Far and away the longest serving player on the team (also the oldest by seven years), there’s no question Alfredsson will retire as a Senator.

It’s a corollary of his hard-earned reputation (long gone are the doubts about him as a playoff performer, referenced here http://thehockeywriters.com/can-a-team-win-with-dany-heatley/) that no one see’s his struggles this past season as an issue, but rather a result of his injury.  The questions about him are all health and age related, but if he recovers successfully from his surgery there’s no question that he is still an effective player.  How much gas is left in the tank?  Given his commitment to fitness there’s no reason to think he can’t continue to be effective until the end of his contract.  Taking his health as a given, Alfredsson can be expected to put up 60-65 points with 20-25 goals.

Alfredsson‘s hit on Tucker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNgXCohmzcM
A 7-point night against Tampa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9_Nrt8QQAg&feature=fvst
Reaches 1,000 points: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22vG91rYwhs
Part of his 1,000 game tribute: http://video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=65489&catid=1059

Up next is Filip Kuba.