Kubina, who turns 35 next month, spent parts of 10 seasons in Tampa Bay over two stints. The Lightning were looking to get younger, and Kubina was an expensive but valuable chip to move.
Even as a pending unrestricted free agent, Kubina delivered minor leaguer Jon Kalinski and second- and fourth-round picks.
"I do understand. It's part of the business," Kubina said. "Trades happen all the time, and it happens to way better players than me. They got a lot back for me in Tampa. It's a hard business, but it's part of that.
"You spend somewhere around 10 years and you win a Stanley Cup, you're always going to have a great connection over there. And a lot of friends."
Kubina said it took him a few weeks to adjust to his new surroundings. He arrived on the day of the Flyers Wives' Carnival and shipped out with the team on a 10-day road trip the next day. Kubina said the hardest part was not seeing his 5-year-old daughter, Tereza, for more than a month. Tereza and Kubina's wife, Andrea, finally arrived in Philadelphia last week.
Kubina, who played 14:33 and had an assist in the Flyers' 5-3 loss, has simply changed the Flyers' defense. Monday was his 11th game with the Flyers, as he missed seven with an "upper-body" injury. The Flyers are 12-5-1 since his first game. He has brought a physical, crease-clearing presence with his 258-pound frame.
"Defensively, he's a big man," coach Peter Laviolette said. "He's played a lot of years. He's got a lot of experience in the National Hockey League. You add him and [Nick Grossmann] to the back end, and it's a lot of meat we've put into the lineup. It's hard to get around that at times. They're big guys and they can defend well. They help clear things out in front of our goaltender."
On Monday, Kubina was able to put aside his friendships and emotions and relish his newfound opportunity. He has been in Philadelphia for a little more than a month and he is interested to see what this summer's free-agency will bring. At the right price, he could be back in a Flyers uniform.
"It's been a great ride here," Kubina said. "You never know when you're going to get a chance to make the playoffs again. This is a great opportunity for me. We'll see. I'm focusing on the remainder of the season and then the playoffs. We'll see what the future's going to bring."
Rest for 'Bryz'
Since Feb. 16, the Flyers rattled off nearly a quarter of the season with 20 games in exactly 40 days. Ilya Bryzgalov has started 19 of them.
After Monday night's game against Tampa Bay, the Flyers will enjoy their one last extra day of rest. From Thursday until the regular season ends on April 7, they will play every other day with the exception of this weekend, when the puck drops on back-to-back games in less than 24 hours.
"We get these 2 days off and it seems like a week," Laviolette said. "It's really just an extra day."
Bryzgalov's workload will be something to watch over the final six games. He started 29 out of the Coyotes' final 31 games in Phoenix last season before flaming out spectacularly in a first-round sweep because of fatigue.
But how does Laviolette give Bryzgalov a break without taking him out of his rhythm?
One school of thought is to ride Bryzgalov, who entered Monday with a 10-1-1 record and .956 save percentage in March, until the Flyers no longer have a chance at the East's No. 1 seed. Another is to sit him in one of the back-to-back games this weekend, perhaps against Ottawa. Then again, Sergei Bobrovsky - who has started just once since Feb. 12 - is a perfect 4-0-0 at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center, where the Flyers play Sunday.
The options are endless.
"We've given him a day off in practice here and there," Laviolette said. "I'm sure you'll see 'Bob' at some point."
Draft pick signed
The Flyers signed center Nick Cousins, a third-round draft choice last June, to an entry-level contract.
Contact Frank Seravalli at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read his blog, Frequent Flyers, at www.philly.com/frequentflyers.