Coburn's New Deal, Winter Classic Jersey, Other Thoughts

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Braydon Coburn signed for $18M over 4 years
I’m not too sure about this deal. It isn’t the length of the contract or the amount. It’s about the player, and whether he’s really worth keeping. When we first got him, he was a nice young defenseman who seemed to have plenty of confidence and poise. He made a few mistakes but earned his playing time and his coaches trust. And after a short while, he team up with Kimmo Timonen as a top pair defenseman. We relied on him to shut down the oppositions best players. But then, he just stopped getting better. He has a decent slapper, but doesn’t get a ton of points. His goal scoring has gone down every season since he joined us, as well his assists.  For a guy considered a puck-moving defenseman, he sure doesn’t had the numbers to back it up.

In his own end, he doesn’t seem as steady anymore either. He still makes turnovers, takes bad angles, and gets caught out of position.  He’s not horrible by any stretch. When he’s having a good day then I have full faith in him. But he has too many bad games mixed in with the good ones. He’s a good skater, so if guys that he is covering get open shots, it’s because of poor positioning. He’s been in the NHL for 6 years now, and while there’s always room to learn and improve, it seems like his development has stalled. However, he seems to be developing a bit more of a mean streak this season. It’s nice to see him standing up for teammates and occasionally dropping the gloves.

I understand why the Flyers needed to lock him up though. He’s only 26 and this deal takes him to 31 (birthday is in mid-season). In the next 3 seasons, everyone except Chris Pronger becomes a free agent. And given how old Timonen and Lilja are, I’d be shocked if they get extensions. Which means we’ll either have to bring in new guys, or develop the youth a bit. We’ll need somebody that’s been here for a while to help smooth the transition. He’s already the longest tenured player on the team. Might as well keep him around. And he doesn’t have a No Trade Clause, so if we have to move him, we can.

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