Panthers buy out Kuba's contract

The Florida Panthers are beginning the process of clearing up salary cap space, after buying out the contract of defenseman Filip Kuba.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel was first with the news on Wednesday evening.

Unlike a compliance buyout, which can only be used twice and does not count against the cap, Kuba's release will remain on the ledger. The 36-year-old is due to be paid $2.8 million over the next two years, but only $2.6 million will count against the cap, according to the paper.

Kuba returned to the club which drafted him, signing an $8 million, two-year deal at the outset of last year's free-agency period. He picked up a goal and nine assists in 44 regular-season appearances.

The native of the Czech Republic was an eighth-round selection in 1995 and spent parts of his first two NHL seasons with Florida, from 1998-2000, then went on to become an original member of the Minnesota Wild.

In 836 North American appearances, he has compiled 70 goals and 333 points for the Panthers, Wild, Lightning and Senators.