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Pavel Kubina

Some general manager is going to get lucky and steal Pavel Kubina (31) from Toronto. With Bryan McCabe refusing to go anywhere, ever, and Tomas Kaberle viewed as far to valuable to trade, as well as incoming ex-Avalanche "tough minutes" defenseman Kurt Sauer Jeff Finger all signed to big money, there doesn't seem to be room for Pavel Kubina and the ten million dollars he's owed over the next two years. And that's really a shame, if you're a fan of the Leafs.

I say this for a few reasons. According to Desjardins, Kubina played the toughest opposition of any Leafs defenseman. He posted a 2.99 GFON/60 and 2.68 GAON/60. Not only that, he did it in 2006-07 too, and broke even in terms of goal differential. While we're looking at things Kubina led Toronto defensemen in, we might also look at hits (121), and blocked shots (166, a full 67 ahead of the next nearest defenseman).

It gets better, too. Kubina led all Toronto defensemen in PTS/60 5-on-4 (3.97), despite playing behind both Kaberle and McCabe on the seond unit. He also had the nicest goal differential/60 (+6.70). Finally, with the (rather odd) exception of Carlo Colaiacovo, Kubina had the best goal differential of any Toronto defender 4-on-5. Lastly, and while this isn't as important as some people (HHOF selection committee) seem to think, he's been a Stanley Cup champion.

Now, if I were the GM of a team with a suspect defense corps and some salary cap room (cough*Dean Lombardi*cough) and I could get this guy in a deal that would largely be a salary dump for Toronto, I'd be all over it. I don't know who's going to pick him up, but I sincerely hope that whichever team does isn't in the Northwest Division.