Thursday, April 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's fond farewell for Kubina

Ask Lightning captain Marty St. Louis about former teammate Pavel Kubina, and you get an arm's-length list of reasons he was so effective on the ice.

"He played the game hard," St. Louis said. "He blocked a lot of shots, and he had a pretty good offensive flair that was probably underrated."

But there also was this: "He was a good soul," St. Louis said. "He was a good human being."

It is worth remembering as Kubina, 36, officially announced his retirement Friday after 13 seasons, including 10 in two stints with Tampa Bay.

Kubina was a funny guy. He made fun of you but never mocked and did it in such a way you could laugh at yourself.

He was sensitive, too. During the 2003 playoffs, a Kubina slap shot gashed the face of Devils defenseman Scott Stevens. Several New Jersey players accused Kubina of deliberately shooting at Stevens in an attempt to injure.

Kubina answered the charge the next day, so upset at its nature that his voice quivered. The next season, New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur admitted it was all a ploy to try to unnerve the big Czech.

That was difficult to do on the ice. At 6 feet 4, 258 pounds, Kubina, a seventh-round draft choice in 1996 (179th overall), was a horse. He played his best in the biggest moments and relished facing the game's biggest stars. The picture of him looming over a fallen Jaromir Jagr during the 2003 playoffs against the Capitals is a classic.

Kubina still holds the Lightning record for defensemen with 72 goals. He was part of Tampa Bay's 2003-04 Stanley Cup team. He is a three-time Olympian (bronze in 2006) and won three world championships.

An argument can be made that, given his career, Kubina was Tampa Bay's most savvy draft choice.

But as former Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said of his former teammate, who also played for the Thrashers, Maple Leafs and Flyers: "He's a guy who you always liked to be around. He was always laughing. He always had fun with his teammates. I was his roommate for a year when we first started. Just a great guy."

And that is a great way to be remembered.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cr[email protected]

Comments
Lightning hold off Devils and David Puddy

Lightning hold off Devils and David Puddy

NEWARK, N.J. – The Devils pulled out all the stops for Wednesday's Game 4 of their Stanley Cup quarter final series with the Lightning by inviting David Puddy at the Prudential Center.For those who do not know who he is, Puddy was Elaine's boyf...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Lightning stands up to Devils, pushes its way to 3-1 series lead

Lightning stands up to Devils, pushes its way to 3-1 series lead

NEWARK, N.J. — Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Taking Care of Business shook the walls of the Lightning locker room not long after it dispatched the Devils in Wednesday's Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.The 3-1 win was sparked by Nikita K...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Devils Game 4

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Devils Game 4

I guess the lesson here is never believe a hockey player when he says what happens in a scrum at the end of a playoff game doesn't carry over into the next game. It sure looks like the Lightning and Devils won't be vacationing together this summer.Th...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning-Devils: How Tampa Bay worked its way to a 3-1 series lead

Lightning-Devils: How Tampa Bay worked its way to a 3-1 series lead

Times columnist Tom Jones gives his thoughts while watching the broadcast of Game 4 of the series between the Lightning and Devils:Hard work beats everythingWe watch the Lightning all season long and marvel at its skill. Nikita Kucherov, Steven ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Restraint? Ha. Lightning-Devils mix it up in early going of Game 4

Restraint? Ha. Lightning-Devils mix it up in early going of Game 4

NEWARK, N.J. — Both sides were in agreement Tuesday that the shenanigans during the final minute of Monday's Game 3 would not carry over to Game 4."I think the emotion of a game in a series carries over, (but) what happened at end I don't think...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tyler Johnson in Lightning lineup tonight, Ryan Callahan out

Tyler Johnson in Lightning lineup tonight, Ryan Callahan out

UPDATE: NEWARK, N.J. — Tyler Johnson is in the lineup tonight for Game 4 against the Devils, but Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Ryan Callahan is not.Callahan is missing his second game of this best-of-seven game series after suffering wha...
Published: 04/18/18
Live blog: Lightning looks to rebound in Game 4

Live blog: Lightning looks to rebound in Game 4

Follow our live coverage of the opening-round NHL playoff series between the Lightning and New Jersey Devils. Times reporters, editors, sports columnists and photo journalists will chronicle the action on and off the ice through updates, analysis, ph...
Published: 04/18/18
Saturday’s Game 5 start time for Lightning-Devils? 3 p.m.

Saturday’s Game 5 start time for Lightning-Devils? 3 p.m.

Saturday's Game 5 between the Lightning and Devils at Amalie Arena will start at 3 p.m. and be televised locally on NBC.Also, on Saturday, the Blue Jackets at Capitals game will start at 3 p.m., and the Maple Leafs at Bruins game will begin at 8 and ...
Published: 04/18/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tom Jones previews Game 4 of Lightning-Devils

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tom Jones previews Game 4 of Lightning-Devils

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to preview Game 4 of the opening-round playoff series between the Lightning and New Jersey Devils on today's Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast.Plus, the Rays lose to the Rangers 7-2 as Yonny Chirinos is r...
Published: 04/18/18
Stow the fists and play grown-up hockey in Game 4

Stow the fists and play grown-up hockey in Game 4

Before we dive into this Lightning-Devils series, a pet peeve about the Stanley Cup playoffs: All this junk at the end of games. And by junk, I mean all the fighting, cheap shots, trash talk and shenanigans that seem to overtake playoff games in the ...
Published: 04/18/18