UPDATE: The Lightning have acquired a second round pick in '12 or '13, a fourth round pick in '13 and left winger Jon Kalinski from the Flyers for Pavel Kubina, according to their Twitter account.
FROM EARLIER: Pavel Kubina is heading to Philadelphia.
For now, the Flyers are just trying to figure out who is leaving.
According to reports, the Flyers have moved two draft picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Kubina.
The Flyers (and Lightning) have not yet announced the move – almost 2 hours after its reported closing – because the trade call has not even been made with the NHL’s central registry office. That’s because this deal for Kubina is pending on another deal the Flyers make, since adding Kubina would put them over the 50-contract limit.
The Flyers have yet to comment publicly on the matter.
The Flyers would need to drop a contract – including something as simple as trading a minor leaguer for future considerations or voiding a contract like Johan Backlund’s. Backlund, 30, started the season on a one-way NHL deal but has since left the Phantoms to play with Karpat in Finland.
But is this deal part of something bigger than that?
Rumors have been swirling that adding Kubina is just one piece to the Saturday night trading puzzle, which could include acquiring Columbus captain Rick Nash.
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson was back in Philadelphia for the second time in a week on Saturday, to watch the Flyers’ disheartening loss to Pittsburgh.
Either way, Kubina appears destined for Philadelphia.
The return to Tampa Bay, floundering at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, is a 2nd round pick in this June’s draft that was a conditional pick from Florida in last summer’s trade for Kris Versteeg, and a 4th round pick in 2013.
Kubina, 34, carries with him $3.850 million salary cap hit, which would be pro-rated for the remainder of the season. He is a veteran of 953 NHL games – with nearly 10 seasons worth played with the Tampa Bay franchise. He won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004.
Kubina would have needed to give Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman a list of teams to which he could be traded, to satisfy his limited no-trade clause. The Lightning kept him off the ice at practice on Thursday to “protect team interests” in case of a trade. He was a healthy scratch on Thursday against San Jose and again on Saturday night against Washington.
On the surface, two pretty good draft picks seems like an awfully high price to pay for an aging defenseman who will become a free agent on July 1.
Kubina, who is officially listed at 6-foot-4 and a whopping 258 pounds, is a much more offensive-minded defenseman than Nicklas Grossman, who made his debut on Saturday.
The common threads between both of these trades? The Flyers didn’t need to give up a player to acquire Grossman and Kubina. And both can walk at the end of the season if the Flyers aren’t satisfied with their play.
To make room for Kubina on the roster, the Flyers would need to demote a defenseman. That would likely be rookie Marc-Andre Bourdon, who has struggled lately after a promising start to his NHL career in November and December.
Now, with Kubina on the roster and Bourdon back on the Phantoms, the Flyers would appear to have approximately $939,000 in available salary cap cushion on the $64.3 million cap.
But we’re still waiting for that other shoe to drop.
PAVEL KUBINA FILE
Born Apr 15 1977 -- Celadna, Czech Rep.
Height 6.04 -- Weight 258 -- Shoots R
Selected by Tampa Bay Lightning round 7 #179 overall 1996 NHL Entry Draft
--- Regular Season ---
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1996-97 Moose Jaw Warriors WHL 61 12 32 44 116
1997-98 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 55 4 8 12 86
1997-98 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 10 1 2 3 22
1998-99 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 68 9 12 21 80
1998-99 Cleveland Lumberjacks IHL 6 2 2 4 16
1999-00 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 69 8 18 26 93
2000-01 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 70 11 19 30 103
2001-02 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 11 23 34 106
2002-03 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 75 3 19 22 78
2003-04 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 81 17 18 35 85
2005-06 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 76 5 33 38 96
2006-07 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 61 7 14 21 48
2007-08 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 72 11 29 40 116
2008-09 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82 14 26 40 94
2009-10 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 76 6 32 38 66
2010-11 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 79 4 19 23 62
2011-12 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 52 3 8 11 59
NHL Totals 953 110 272 382 1108
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers