When the word came from Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman that he was being dealt to the Ottawa Senators, forward Donimik Kubalik didn’t exactly fall over from the shock of the news being delivered.
“Not that I was ready for the exchange, but I knew it could happen,” Kubalik told Czech website isport.blesk.cz. “Now I’m just looking ahead.”
Love Kubalik and wish him well but he started out on fire then was continually moved down the lineup for not performing. pic.twitter.com/flyc3HoymG
— Pro (@Proficiency_) July 18, 2023
The Red Wings were sending Kubalik, prospect defenseman Donovan Sebrango and a future first round draft pick to the Senators in order to acquire two-time 40-goal scorer Alex DeBrincat from the Senators.
A 27-year-old left-winger, Kubalik scored 20 goals for the Red Wings last season. He tallied 30 times for the Chicago Blackhawks during 2019-20, his rookie season as an NHLer. Yet, similar to DeBrincat, as he is entering his fifth NHL season, Kubalik will be playing for his third NHL club.
Kubalik Still Wearing Red Wings Gear
As he was running his annual youth hockey camp back home in Czechia, Kubalik was still adorned in red gloves and red hockey pants adorned with the Red Wings logo.
“Nothing has arrived yet, I’m using old things,” Kubalik explained. “But we got the red gloves from Bauer years ago, so here I had the same color as I wore all last season.”
Playing for the Czech Republic, Kubalik led the IIHF World Championship with eight goals and was a selection to the tourney’s all-star team. He wonders whether the fact that Senators head coach D.J. Smith was an assistant coach on the Canadian staff at the worlds may have played a role in his move to Ottawa.
“It could have had some impact,” Kubalik said.
Another factor may have been Kubalik’s contract status. He’s entering the last year of his current pact. Kubalik indicated that he’ll be seeking a five-year deal with his next contract. From Yzerman’s point of view, if he was going to sign a scorer to a long-term pact, DeBrincat was the better option.
In preparation for the upcoming season, Kubalik soon plans to begin skating with Plzen of the Czech Extraliga.
“I haven’t been on the ice much yet, but I’m already planning to,” Kubalik said. “So far, I have only trained on dry land, in the gym, on the bike. But I think there will still be enough ice.”