TAMPA — Pavel Kubina's pads, pants and helmet still hung from his locker at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday morning. But they likely won't be used again as the Lightning holds the veteran defenseman out in preparation for a potential trade.
Kubina was asked Thursday by Tampa Bay to give a list of five teams that he'd be willing to be dealt (a parameter of his limited no-trade clause), but he hasn't. Agent Peter Svoboda said Kubina will do so before the seven-day window ends and could come to some conclusions today.
Svoboda said the pending split with the Lightning has been difficult for Kubina, who was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1996 and has worn the uniform for parts of 10 seasons over two stints.
"That's where … his first chance to play in the NHL was, and he had really good success there. And they won the Cup and everything else," Svoboda said. "And that's the reason he went back two years ago, so it's not easy."
Kubina's expected departure as well as Thursday's trade of center Dominic Moore to the Sharks for a second-round pick has been tough for their teammates. However, the Lightning's players believe the adversity will bring them closer together.
Whether it brings them closer in the standings remains to be seen as Tampa Bay sits tied for 11th, eight points out of the final playoff spot.
But while general manager Steve Yzerman is keeping one eye toward the future, players remained focused on the present, beginning with tonight's home game against the Capitals.
"Our mission is still the same," captain Vinny Lecavalier said.
"Our goal is to make the playoffs."
Said forward Nate Thompson: "Steve is doing his job, and we have to do ours. It's within this room. We have to believe in each other. This is what we've got. Like Marty (St. Louis) said, we've got to stick together."
Coach Guy Boucher doesn't like losing two contributors but trusts the organization's plan. That still doesn't make it easy on the rest of the team.
"It destroys you, or it really puts your back against the wall," Boucher said.
"Either or, they're very tough to manage. You say, 'Oh, it brings us together.' The reality is it's still tough."
Boucher takes it as a challenge, one his team is up to. He talked about how much character the Lightning displayed in its 6-5 overtime win over the Sharks on Thursday night.
Feeling it has a lot to play for, the Lightning will move on. And so will Kubina, 34.
"I think he's still got a lot of hockey in him because Kuby always took care of himself very well," Svoboda said. "And he's determined."
Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.