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TAMPA—Leafs defenceman Pavel Kubina is full of expectations these days.

He expects to return from a now three-week injury layoff next week, possibly for the Leafs game against Philadelphia Nov.6. Seven days after that, he expects to become father.

But when former teammates and current ones look at the 29-year-old Czech native, they see a player who has a history of living up to expectations.
Players with the Tampa Bay Lightning, whom the Leafs faceoff against tonight, delighted in recalling a younger Kubina.

He was instantly likeable, a seventh-round pick in 1996 who could make players laugh with his off-ice antics, but who became an integral part of the franchise's rise to the 2003-04 Stanley Cup championship.

TheStar.com - Leaf's special delivery
 

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Aside from Zdeno Chara, Kubina was the UFA I wanted most on Toronto.

Before he got injured, he was definitely paying dividence, and showing that he's one of the best at playing a sound all-around game. Not much offence yet, but he was sure to take a ton of ice-time off of Kaberle and McCabe's shoulders, and Lord knows how much that's needed.
 

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Nice read.

Yeah Kubina has got some pressure on him when he comes back, especially if the team continues to win but like the article said, he lives up to expectations.

It'll be nice have him back in the lineup hopefully he'll be close to full strength.
 
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