Pavel Kubina, a hulking defenseman with the 2004 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, announced his retirement this week.
Kubina spent 10 of his 13 NHL seasons with the Bolts.
“Making my way to the NHL and playing in the best league in the world for 13 seasons has been a dream come true. I will be forever grateful for the experiences and friendships that I have gained over the course of my career, including capturing the Stanley Cup in Tampa in 2004,” said Kubina in a NHLPA press release. “Thank you to Phil Esposito for drafting me and giving me a chance to play for the Lightning. I also would like to thank my family and friends for their support throughout my hockey journey.”
The Lightning drafted Kubina as a long shot, taking him 179th overall back in 1996. He was a big boy who used his size advantage well. He played his best when he allowed a little snarl into his game. Defensively he rounded into a reliable defender and good shot-blocker. Offensively he was noted as a strong passer with a heavy - though far from great - shooter.
All said Pavel Kubina played in 970 NHL games, with brief appearances in Toronto, Atlanta and Philadelphia. He scored 110 goals and 276 assists for a total of 386 points.
Internationally Kubina represented his native Czech Republic in three Olympic games; 2002, 2006 (winning bronze), and 2010. He also played in four world championships, winning three gold medals (1999, 2001 and 2005).