Kuba exile?

One look at the Ottawa Senators blueline suggests that GM Bryan Murray will have a problem if he wants both Jared Cowen and David Rundblad to make the opening day roster.

Unless, of course, Murray can ship a veteran defenceman to an island — er, the Islanders.

Chris Botta of Point Blank, a blog on the Islanders, suggests that Islanders GM Garth Snow is interested in adding veteran depth on defence. Keep in mind that money is a factor, here — the Islanders are currently $2.3 million below the salary cap floor.

Hello, Filip Kuba?

Murray would likely jump at the opportunity to unload Kuba, who has one year and $3.7 million remaining on his contract.

Kuba was plagued by injuries and uninspired play last season.

Even if the Islanders believed he might rebound, he would be an expensive gamble for any team. There are also a few veteran defencemen who remain unrestricted free agents, including Bryan McCabe and ex-Islander Chris Campoli, but Long Island is a Long Lost destination in the minds of many players.

Earlier in the summer, Snow was unable to sign Christian Ehrhoff after trading for his rights before the NHL draft. Ehrhoff subsequently went to the Buffalo Sabres as part of the free agent insanity.

At this point, the only household names on the Islanders blueline are Mark Streit, Milan Jurcina and Mark Eaton. Carp’s Calvin de Haan, a former first round pick, is among those bidding to crack the lineup. 

The Senators have six returning defencemen, including Kuba, Chris Phillips, Sergei Gonchar, Erik Karlsson, Matt Carkner and Brian Lee. Rundblad, the hot Swedish prospect, and Cowen, who excelled last season in junior and with Binghamton of the AHL, are both pushing to make the team out of training camp.

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