2012 NHL Free Agency: Detroit Red Wings Must Pursue Pavel Kubina

Shane DarrowAnalyst IIJuly 12, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 20:  Pavel Kubina #13 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 20, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings must focus on going after defensive depth now that the big man on campus, Nicklas Lidstrom, has retired. The first guy on their list was Ryan Suter, who many believed would end up in Hockeytown after a strong push. However, he ended up joining Zach Parise in Minnesota.

Pavel Kubina split time with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers last season, and while his numbers were not too impressive, he would be a solid addition to the Red Wings blue line that desperately needs depth.

While he has never been a superstar in the NHL, Kubina won a Stanley Cup in 2004 and has a huge shot that would really help fill a void on the power play.

There are no superstars, or really even stars for that matter, left on the defensive end of the ice that the Wings can offer a huge contract to in free agency. So what they must do is take solid, veteran defensemen and give them a two- or three-year deal.

Other guys that the Wings could target to compliment the signing of Kubina are Carlo Colaiacovo, who had 19 points for the St. Louis Blues last season, and Michal Rozsival, who had 13 points on the blue line for the Phoenix Coyotes in a season that was shortened by injuries. 

Another factor: All three of these players could be signed with a discount, and would hardly effect Detroit's cap space.

Kubina is the best fit because he starts to fill the most holes that were left when Lidstrom retired. He can be a solid top-4 defenseman, as well as the quarterback of the second unit on the power play.

There isn't a player on the market that can come even close to filling the void that was left when No. 5 retired, but signing Kubina would be a good start.