Kubina rejoins Lightning

Updated: July 2, 2010, 12:55 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed veteran defenseman Pavel Kubina to a two-year deal, bringing back a player who began his career with the Lightning and won a Stanley Cup with them.

The deal is worth $7.7 million, a source confirmed to ESPN.com. Kubina will earn $4.2 million next season and $3.5 million in 2011-12.

"I wanted to come back home," Kubina told ESPN.com from his native Czech Republic. "Tampa is my second home after the Czech Republic."

The 33-year-old, who earned $5 million this past season, was an unrestricted free agent, leaving the Atlanta Thrashers, where he led the team in ice time this past season, and totaled 38 points (6 goals, 32 assists).

"He was well-liked by his teammates during his previous time here in Tampa Bay and we're happy to welcome him back," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. "I know Pavel had other options and I would like to thank him for deciding to rejoin us."

Kubina, 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, began his NHL career in 1997-98 in Tampa Bay and played there for eight seasons, and was part of the squad that won the 2004 Stanley Cup.

He put up 118 points in his past three seasons, averaging just under 40 points per season. He's had 30-plus points in seven of his past nine seasons.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.