It’s official, Kubina a Thrasher

OK folks, it is official. The Thrashers just announced that they have acquired defenseman Pavel Kubina and the rights to forward Tim Stapleton from Toronto for Garnet Exelby and Colin Stuart.

I had a pretty good idea the Thrashers had something planned with Toronto. Don Waddell was very forthcoming that they were talking to the Leafs when I asked about Tomas Kaberle. And he said they would act fast with the groundwork being set at the draft last week.

Certainly they are not done making moves, but the roster is starting to take some shape with Marty Reasoner and Anssi Salmela signed, Evander Kane drafted, qualifying offers made and now this trade. Still, I would look for Kari Lehtonen or Ondrej Pavelec to be traded soon and then Waddell may look at the remaining free-agent pool.

So, tell me what you think.

64 comments Add your comment

MB

July 1st, 2009
7:48 pm

Very happy with it, and I think it benefits both teams. Leafs dump salary and acquire Komisarek. Burke is building a team up there that will be physical and tough to play against, very much his m.o.

As much as I like Exelby he’s been a liability on defense. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “d*#n it, Exelby!” during games. At best he’s a #5 d-man, and last year I would have had him at #7 if given the choice.

Kubina is a solid top 4 blueliner with good size (6′4″, 240), can move the puck, and can score (35-40 pts.). He’s overpaid, but with our status against the cap cellar, that’s not a real issue for us. As Sara noted on Rawhide’s blog, for the first time in Thrashers’ history we have a bona fide top 4 d-corps!

Not looking for too much from Stapleton if he signs with us. Smallish with some decent offensive upside, but probably a depth guy for occasional call-up.

I like Stuart, but he was also a depth guy for us and not all that difficult to replace.

So, all-in-all, I like this move and hope it’s followed with another good move for a top-6 forward.

Hockey Biltong

July 1st, 2009
8:02 pm

Git down with your badself DW….

Thrashers27

July 1st, 2009
8:07 pm

I’m happy to see Kubina coming this way, but sad to see X and Stuart go…especially, X. I liked what we saw from Stuart last year and was looking forward to seeing him here for a full season on the PK.

Mike G.

July 1st, 2009
8:15 pm

Kubina is merely a one season rental. Where are these top teir forward Ilya wants ? This trade does nothing to improve the Thrashers.

PUTTING ON THE FOIL

July 1st, 2009
8:19 pm

I think this is a sweet deal. Hate to see XLB leave even though he was a liability on defense. But it’s time to move forward and this was a good deal. Thank goodness that Army stuff was BS. We have got to go get that top line center or winger for Kovy. Come on Waddell, give me areason to go smoke that Cohiba Siglo I’ve been saving.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
8:20 pm

So far…REALLY good. Great trade. We still are going to trade a goalie. I’m now thinking it will be Lehts because he’ll be due at least $3.5. Especially if we get Antro

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
8:21 pm

MB

July 1st, 2009
8:27 pm

Mike G., the trade does nothing to improve the Thrashers?

Have you seen Exelby play? Have you seen Kubina play? Granted, it’ll be better if we can sign him for a longer period of time (though at a more reasonable cost), but remember that X, too, is in the last year of his contract.

Agreed that we need at least on top-6 forward, but today is just the first day of free agency. If this is the only move that we make, then you’re right that Waddell has come up short in his bid to impress Kovy. But it’s early yet, and while I’ll readily admit that DW has given us little cause for confidence over the years, there’s not too much to grouse about with this deal.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
8:28 pm

I love it… but more importantly, what does Kubina think about it?

Get some quotes for us Chris!

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
8:29 pm

Looks like Heatley accepted the trade to Edmonton… should be announced soon.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
8:30 pm

Gaborik to the Rangers, 5 years, $7.5 million per year.

David

July 1st, 2009
8:32 pm

I love this trade. I never thought XLB was dazzling (or average for that matter) skill wise – not to say i didn’t come to love his attitude and toughness. However, we get the size. XLB is 6′1″ 210 lbs….Kubina is 6′4″ 240lbs.

I think we’ll all miss Stuart and I think he has the potential to be a great NHL player, but for us THIS SEASON…Kubina is a great pickup. If we can sign him for the future then excellent, but this was a trade for this year and I like it.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
8:47 pm

As we continue to wait for a top 6 forward….Gaborik gets stupid money from NYR (& will get hurt in pre-season.) Chris Neil resigns with Ottawa. Gionta’s off to Montreal for 5 years.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
8:52 pm

Gotta think the Gaborik deal takes the Rangers out of the Antropov hunt… should be down to two teams now.

Havlat and Antropov still out there with teams running out of cap room.

Chris Vivlamore

July 1st, 2009
8:52 pm

GaVaHokie: Just got off the phone with Waddell. The new story – complete with quotes – should be up soon. Just sent it to the office. He had some very interesting things to say. Waddell said this top-4 defenseman – Kubina, Hainsey, Enstrom and Bogosian – are the best in the history of the Thrashers. I would be interested in what y’all think about that.

Also, he had some good things to say about Angelo Esposito. He started skating the weekend of the draft and is a month ahead of schedule. However, he may not be ready for camp. I’ll fill you in more on that in a blog tomorrow. It’s been a long day and the wife is downstairs waiting for my return to the family.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
8:56 pm

The thing to remember is that the FA pool wasn’t that deep. Some of the contracts that went out today would have been unsustainable here when you factor in retaining Kovy, Little, Bogosian over time. Or there were the injury-prone rolls of the dice like Gaborik.

If you view a top-6 forward as someone to form a core that can last, you’re talking a younger player than Don has better chances of getting via a trade since those players are usually already signed or are RFAs we can’t afford to try and swipe.

As for Kubina – he doesn’t have to be a long-term solution. We’ve got a variety of defensive prospects that should start filtering into the line-up in the next season to three I’d say.

In the meantime, Kubina helps this club this year and if he can help push the team up the standings, that helps the team’s image overall in attracting talent next season as well, not too mention persuading Kovy that this team is capable of being competitive.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
8:58 pm

Sather is a dope. I’m thinking/hoping it’s us vs. MTL for Antropov. I will say, though, If we take on a larger salary, I bet we end up trading Lehts for a 1st and/or nice prospect only. We may need to drop his contract.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
9:03 pm

Looking forward to it Chris… I don’t think there’s any question that this is the best Defensive Core we’ve ever had… there’s not much to compare to.

Gionta got 5 years $25 million from Montreal… sheesh… that’s too much.

However, that’s gotta make Tanguay available… I’d put all my attention at him… forget Antropov.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
9:03 pm

I get the impression that Don’s not planning on signing anybody today. If he’s doing conference calls on the trade that happened 4 hours ago…I’m guessing that’s all that’s in the cards today.

LEARNER

July 1st, 2009
9:05 pm

WHAT SARA SAID!! SARA KNOW’S PUCKIN’!!!

Midfield

July 1st, 2009
9:05 pm

Thrashers need to address size and grit as well. Are any of you sure that Enstrom, for example, can go the distance in the play-off situation without being sidelined with an injury?

Toby

July 1st, 2009
9:11 pm

Hey… I won’t argue against Tanguay. I’m just not resting on trading a goalie for the top 4. I wouldn’t be sure who would make a good trading partner…Edmonton or Boston?

thasher fan

July 1st, 2009
9:11 pm

i think we’re going to miss exelby in more ways than we know. he was the spirit of the team. it’s like when the braves threw out lemke. they never were the same. never underestimate heart and spirt. look at hossa. he may have the talent but he’s a loser. exelby brings out the best in everyone. sorry to see him go.

PUTTING ON THE FOIL

July 1st, 2009
9:13 pm

Tanguay would be good addition.

Bob

July 1st, 2009
9:15 pm

Exelby for Kubina is a one year win for us. I like Stuart, but I wonder if what they really were after in this deal was Stapelton.

Yes Chris, I agree with Waddell, this will be our best top 4 d in history, but that’s a pretty low bar to get over. If you stack up our top 4 against the other top 4 around the league, we’re still weak, unless Bogo turns into a stuf #1 30 min/nite guy

I don’t like hearing Waddell pump up Espo to you. Sounds to me like he’s planning on plugging Espo and Kane in as our new forwards on the top lines. Bye Bye, Kovy.

Billy

July 1st, 2009
9:25 pm

Terrible trade. Kubina is a waste of $5M. Hainsey and Kubina will be a combined -100 next season.

Our defense just got weaker. We got size, but we got stupidity with Kubina.

There is a reason Burke wanted him out. He can’t play defense, just like Hainsey.

We should have gone after Komisarek with that money.

Hockey Biltong

July 1st, 2009
9:56 pm

Minnesota is still talking to Arthropod.. We have a chance . Tanguay is a good option. The Detroit guy Sammuelsson? is an interesting older option.
Komisarek would have been nice, but don’t think he was looking here to play…
So does Gaborik have a fabulous bounce back year???? I would never consider him, for us….

pond scum

July 1st, 2009
10:08 pm

Why not put the money on Scuderi? Kubina should help tap into more offense from the blueline,but as pointed out,how many is he gonna give up? It’s only day 1, no need to panic.Hated to see X and Stuart go but I think the trade off of X’s physical play versus his brain farts couldn’t be hidden anymore. Stuart will probably only be a career 3rd-4th liner,those we have now and are easy to obtain. But I did like the kid very well. I wish them both very well.

One thing these guys are forgetting is how the cap is gonna drop probably next season,so they’ll be bumping around on the merry go round to where ever they can be dumped.

Hossa signs for 12 in Chicago and they don’t even have a goalie (Huet…..please!) Guess he gave up the Cup dream and settled for the cash. The Habs are spending money like no tomorrow. Haven’t they learned anything? Wonder what Portzline thinks about that grand ole’ signing of Pahlsson up there in Blowjacket land? Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

Maybe day 2 will bring about some more answers for us in Thrashersville. Let’s go Thrashers!!!

B. Thenet

July 1st, 2009
10:18 pm

Remember that Kubina had to spent alot of his time cleaning up Kaberle’s messes(now that is a pure offensive defenseman for you)

I like this move, and I think you have to give Rick Dudley some credit on this one. He had him in Tampa, and hopefully might be able to keep him around after 1 year….if we want him next year.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
10:31 pm

I could see us doing a trade in the next few days with Detroit. With the loss of Conklin to St. Louis and Osgood not getting any younger, they make a lot of sense as a trade partner and could bring back a quality player (Hudler? Filppula?) as a return.

Stating the Obvious

July 1st, 2009
10:34 pm

Trying not to get my hopes up too much – but pleasantly surprised so far this off season!

Darkhorse

July 1st, 2009
10:45 pm

Well Billy, at least we will only have Kubina for one year, unless they resign him. Doubt they would do that until next offseason at the earliest. We’re not stuck with a crappy, longterm salary……yet.

Yes Chris, this is our best top 4 D to date. As other above stated, that’s not saying a whole lot really. Don’t get me wrong, I think the deal by itself was a good one for us. Ex did represent the franchise very admirably, but it was nearing time for him to move on.

Gionta getting 5/25, does that push Antropov’s $$$ up too high???

Horatio Cornholer

July 1st, 2009
11:00 pm

Hossa can sign with Chicago for 12 YEARS, but he can’t stay with a contender for more than one?!

Why not sign with the LA Kings, you moron??

Brendan

July 1st, 2009
11:09 pm

Bob Gainey survived the offseason. Just barely. So now, he’s got the Habs committed to 5 years with Cammalleri, Gionta, and Gomez, plus 3 years with Spacek, and 2-years with Hal Gill. I haven’t even begun to do the math on that one. All I can say is … “Hope it works, guys.” Because unloading Gomez might be tougher than you think, Hal Gill is nothing to write home about, and Spacek, depending on the value of the contract, might not be worth it. I haven’t seen the figures on Spacek. I liked Spacek, at a discount. Did he give the Habs a discount? If so, then good. Do UFA’s usually offer discounts? Generally-speaking? Okay, enough Habs talk, though there is a segue. And here it is.

I see his Kubina deal as this year’s IMPROVED Schneider deal, which ultimately netted the organization a 2nd round pick at the trade deadline. Atlanta needs to add payroll, right? Right. Toronto needs a salary dump, right? Right. Waddell and Burke have done deals in the past, right? Right. So, Don “sweetens” it up by tossing in Colin Stuart, a former Thrashers draft pick (5th round, 2001), who is a late bloomer, for depth at Center for Toronto. I know nothing of Tim Stapleton. I think Burke just tossed him in, as a nice gesture towards Waddell. This way, it’s two players for two players. Is Colin Stuart better than Stapleton? I can’t answer that. My first impression is to think, “Yes, he is.” But that difference might be negligible. Is Kubina better than Exelby? My first impression is to think, “Yes, he is. Even at 32. He’s an upgrade to XLB.” So, I don’t think this trade is disastrous. Could the money have been better spent on Spacek, or Beauchemin, or Komisarek, or Ohlund? We can argue all day long. In the end, the UFA has to WANT to be here. The UFA also wants his PAY DAY. Today’s that day. That’s why, despite what Montreal just did, unrestricted free agency is for “tweaking” the roster, not “overhauling” it. Conceptually.

Anywho … the question I wanted answered is this one. “Will Kubina fetch BETTER than a 2nd round pick at the 2010 trade deadline?” If so, Don Waddell did BETTER than last year at acquiring a “salary dump” player. Now, I’m sure we don’t like that Kubina is 32. But I think Schneider was 39 or 40, right? Schneider did have some family or a friend here in Atlanta, that made him slightly more favorable towards being here. Is this the case with Kubina? Shrugs. I have NO EARTHLY IDEA. So, my question #2 is, “Is Kubina eyeballing the exit before he even lands at Hartsfield?” If the answer is “Yes,” and it might be, then we’ve got to hope Kubina is a true professional in his work ethic and attitude. He didn’t sign to play here. WE ALL KNOW THAT. That’s not in dispute. The issue is … will Kubina give us an honest effort every night? That’s what a true professional does. Every player, potentially, has to deal with being traded. It can’t be fun for them. I will welcome Kubina to Blueland with an open mind. If I find his efforts to be lacking, I’ll be very critical about it. If he comes here, plays hard, performs to his level of ability, which is around 40-points, or about a point every other game, on average, how can I possibly complain about that? I can’t complain about his salary. His salary is the reason he’s here. His salary is also the catalyst for getting Exelby out. Which, let’s be honest, was needed. Don wasn’t going to buy him out. He had to trade him. “X” may be popular, but he hasn’t been the same “XLB” since the Ryan Hollweg hit. Let’s be honest about that. I’ve liked Exelby for most of the time he was here. For a 7th round pick, he exceeded any of my expectations for him. But it’s 2009 … and I don’t necessarily see Exelby’s best years as still being ahead of him. Therefore, I am not critical of Waddell for trading him, and recouping $1.31M, roughly, in salary cap hit. I liked Colin Stuart. I wished we could have kept him, truthfully. But it’s not as if he cannot be replaced as a depth center. Who knows what the waiver wire will bring this year? Don’t forget, at 27th place, only three teams are ahead of us, in that regard.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 1st, 2009
11:16 pm

“Why not sign with the LA Kings, you moron??”

The Kings didn’t make the playoffs this year, the Blackhawks did. I like the youth on LA but I don’t feel they’re any closer to a Stanley Cup than Chicago at this point, and how players like Cammalleri, O’Sullivan, and now Johnson aren’t even re-upping at RFA time, I’d say that LA isn’t a team that young quality players want to stay on. Chicago, however, has attracted two Tier I UFAs in the last two years, and has Kane, Toews, and Keith as top tier homegrown talent. They’ve got a good combination, hopefully Huet can do well enough for them to make it farther into the playoffs. LA wasn’t even close to the playoffs this past year, and might still be another year or two away (especially considering they haven’t made any impact signing nor trade for a top line player).

Smoothie

July 1st, 2009
11:17 pm

Not surprising that Gionta would want to be reunited with his old bud Scott Gomez since he was the pivot for Brian when he potted 48 goals in 2005-06. If they do indeed re-ink Kovalev, who is also a RW then Tanguay gets frozen out of MTL. He can’t go back to CGY and unless NY completely breaks the bank on him, then we might just be able to compete against Minny, LA?, OTT etc for his services if Don is able to offer him 5 to 6 M per year. But more likely we’ll end up with either Sykora, Kotalik or Afinogenov to play Top 6 RW for us.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2009
11:28 pm

Brendan, I think X’s cap hit was closer to 1.5, 1.492 to be exact so it’s a 3.5 swing. So there’s your 3.5 M d-man. Now, will we get our 4.5 – 5 M RW?? Paging Monsieur Tanguay, Msr Dudley est vous sonner a la telephone.

Nikita

July 1st, 2009
11:44 pm

Good God. I have never been so happy in my life, as a Thrasher fan.

gcs

July 1st, 2009
11:45 pm

Just the other day Waddell said “it didn’t make sense to get a 30-year-old player for a 17-year-old player.”

But I guess a 32-year old for two 27-year olds is okay.

.

Nikita

July 2nd, 2009
12:06 am

If it’s for the right 27 year-olds, yes.

Smoothie

July 2nd, 2009
12:10 am

Havlat a Wild-man per tsn twitter tracker!! 5 M per.

Foster

July 2nd, 2009
12:59 am

Wouldn’t mind seeing Filppula or Hudler coming in, Chris. I like this Kubina deal for us but I just hope he shows up to play every night.

Is Phil Kessel on the block?

Sadtoseeitthisway

July 2nd, 2009
2:39 am

A little bit of nastiness on our bluline? It would be a welcome sight. I hope Kubina can bring that sort of play to Blueland. Something to watch for? He’s on the last year of his contract. He could be a one and done. However, being a contract year, he could put forth a really good effort and show he wants another good contract.

Marshall

July 2nd, 2009
3:42 am

I don’t understand why everyone seems to think Toronto needed to free up Cap space.

Even with Toronto’s signings today, they still had about 8 million in cap space available. Now that they have moved Kubina they have about 10M available. 10M isn’t a buffer that a team would be crying about.

Toronto could have kept Kubina and taken on a Gabrik like contract on top of the signings already made today and still have some cap space left…

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 2nd, 2009
4:34 am

Marshall — The Toronto media is also stating this was a salary cap move. Sure, they “could have” kept him, but they didn’t and made it abundantly clear it was a salary slashing based on who they acquired for Kubina. Most GMs don’t trade away top 4 defenders for 6/7 defenders and a third/fourth line winger just for the hell of it.

LAC

July 2nd, 2009
6:06 am

The forementioned defense is NOT the best in Thrashers history, Kubina
will do a dan boyle on us and flop like a turkey, watch, he will play with no heart and leave. Where is this TOP forward don ? Even lowly Phoenix made a signing yesterday, albeit not a big one, but Vernon Fiddler from Nashville, a bankrupt team making a move, while we continue to ROT under the stench of the worst GM in professional sports
The Man with NO brain Dumb don waddell ! Can’t wait to hear his worthless comments on how we are moving forward and are a player away…
yeah “don” kubina will lead us to The Stanley Cup, I just wish we could trade waddell and really start to change this team, I look so forward to seeing more of jim slater…. YUCK !

p

July 2nd, 2009
6:45 am

About time Wadell figured out that every thing STARTS at the back line. All great teams have great defenders. Only thing thing I can’t figure out is how he managed to keep his job so long.

hoff

July 2nd, 2009
6:58 am

Again it’s hard to be sold on anything yet. I like the phrases being thrown around like “best D ever”. In comparison to what exactly ? Not having Jiri Slegr back there? Give me a break. I’ll miss Ex, but I think a change of scenery will do him wonders. I’m not sure if he is damaged goods, but he hasn’t been the same player since the concussion issues. Had this been the Exelby of old, I’d be angry, but the version we’ve had recently only mustered up to show flashes of his former self. It’s still a somber delight, Exelby was a fan favorite for good reason.

You do build from the blueline out.. so maybe this is a start..but again..I’m not comfortable when the decisions being made and evaluations being made are from DW and crew. Sadly I have little faith in Dudley also, but if Kubina is a flop, DW is at least off the hook as this was a Dudley move without question. Remember kids, we have two GM’s now.

Atlanta has to continue building throughout the organization. It is not plausible to purchase players, some of you are kidding yourselves if you think that always works or that suddenly Atlanta magically becomes attractive to free agents. Look at the troubles Edmonton is going through, they have to throw money at people to get them also. I actually think we are in a good situation, there is no point in trying to out bid the Rangers and other stupid teams who overpay injury prone stars to bloat their lineup. We have to do this via trades and developing our own players. Every older expensive vet bought means a roadbloack for a young assest trying to get his feet wet, remember that.

jt

July 2nd, 2009
7:15 am

Wow LAC you need another hour of sleep! 6am may be a bit to early for you.

Dave

July 2nd, 2009
7:55 am

Yet another Waddell special. Trade a popular player and a promising prospect to a much better city in return for a old, lead-footed European and some guy who’ll be on the Wolves for 5 years. This is proof that Waddell has been ordered to run the team into the ground so the owners can dump it. It ain’t the owners, folks. The team they care about (Hawks) got better under their watch. Remember that when the Hamilton Thrashers are dropping in to Tampa Bay.