Kuba says trade a shock

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

Filip Kuba's trip from his home in the Czech Republic to Tampa next week will be nothing more than a detour.

Dealt to the Senators last Friday with Alexandre Picard and a No. 1 pick in the 2009 NHL draft by the Lightning for defenceman Andrej Meszaros, the veteran blueliner admits he was a little taken aback by the trade.

"Initially it was a little bit of a shock because of the timing," Kuba, speaking to an Ottawa reporter for the first time since the trade, told Sun Media last night. "I was looking forward to going to training camp in Tampa and I was getting ready to go. Then, my agent (Rich Evans) called me to let me know that I was going to Ottawa.

'THAT'S HOCKEY'

"It happened. That's hockey. Now, I have to get ready to start playing in Ottawa. I'm excited about it and I'm looking forward to it."

The 32-year-old Kuba, in the final year of a contract that will pay him $3 million US this season, thought with all the moves the new Tampa ownership group had made this off-season, his job would be safe there.

"There were a lot of changes and it's really almost a brand new team there," said Kuba, who will arrive in Ottawa next Sunday. "I was excited to go there with the new coach, new players and new ownership group, but now I have to get ready to go to Ottawa. I'm hoping I can do well with Ottawa."

Speaking to the Team 1200 on Thursday, former Lightning coach John Tortorella said he felt Kuba was going to get the chance to excel offensively with the Senators and that his best years in the NHL could be ahead of him.

Kuba had six goals and 25 assists last season, and 12 goals and 22 assists in 2006-07.

"(Kuba) brings a lot to the table," Evans said in an e-mail. "He can score goals and he's sound in his own zone. During his career, he has always logged key minutes on his team penalty-killing and power-play units. Knowledgeable hockey people like Filip Kuba a lot and he will give the Senators 22-24 quality minutes a night."

DRAFTED BY MURRAY

Kuba, who was drafted in the eighth round (192nd overall) by Senators GM Bryan Murray when Murray was Florida's GM in 1995, said he is looking forward to the challenge.

"I hope I can play a big role," said Kuba. "I know they've got a lot of talent on that team. I know Ottawa has a lot of offence already and if I can help, then that's great."

NOTES

The Senators named their roster for next weekend's rookie tournament, which includes Fs Jesse Winchester, Ilja Zubov, Alexander Nikulin and G Brian Elliott ... Pierre Dorion has been named the Senators' chief amateur scout. Dorion will be responsible for directing the scouts who cover the amateur ranks in the U.S., Canada and Europe.


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