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.

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