With the free agency period rapidly approaching, the Florida Panthers could come calling for a reliable veteran defenseman.
The 34-year-old native of Canada was previously selected by the Atlanta Thrashers with the 8th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
The veteran d-man had a relatively short career with Atlanta, lasting only 49 NHL games before the Philadelphia Flyers acquired him during the 2006-07 NHL season.
To say the least, Braydon Coburn had a marvelous nine-year tenure as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Coburn established himself as a physical, yet dependable third pairing defenseman. Additionally, Coburn did produce quite well offensively, recording a slash line of 37G, 124A, for 161 points in 576 games with the Flyers (averaged roughly 28 points per season).
Coburn also helped the Flyers reach the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, where they would lose versus the Chicago Blackhawks. Coburn played in 23 playoffs games, registering 4 points and 22 penalty minutes while playing reliable defense.
Despite a highly successful career with Philly, the former 8th overall pick was eventually traded once again. The powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning would acquire Coburn via trade, and Braydon would not disappoint with the Lightning.
Once again, Coburn helped his team reach the Stanley Cup Finals, but the Tampa Bay Lightning would fall short versus the Chicago Blackhawks.
During the 2015 Playoffs, Coburn was a steady force on the backend, producing 4 points and 21 penalty minutes in 26 playoff contests.
Moreover, Braydon Coburn would spend the following four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Simply put, Coburn continued playing outstanding defense, producing decent numbers offensively while rarely turning over the puck.
In 310 NHL games played with the Bolts, Coburn recorded a line of 11G, 51A, for 62 points, while also notching a +21 rating and 186 penalty minutes.
Coburn averaged roughly 16 minutes of ice time per game, which translated to a third pairing role on the defense-heavy Lightning roster.
Despite playing in a top-four role and averaging approximately 22 minutes per game with the Flyers, Coburn demonstrated that he could accept a reduced role and still contribute. The Florida Panthers could unquestionably use a veteran defenseman like Braydon Coburn on their struggling blue line.
The Panthers defensemen notably struggled with the giveaway bug, with 3 d-men recording over 100 giveaways just last season. Braydon Coburn would help rectify this issue almost immediately.
In 74 games last season, Coburn recorded only 22 giveaways, which was actually one less than the 23 giveaways Braydon had in 2018.
Overall, in Coburn’s fourteen-year NHL career, the physically imposing Canadian recorded 459 total giveaways, averaging a whopping 33 giveaways per season.
Coburn is a veteran of 924 NHL games, and he would provide much-needed experience on a young defense core. In addition, Coburn could serve as a mentor for the young defensemen such as Josh Brown, Ian McCoshen, MacKenzie Weegar, and Aaron Ekblad.
Since Coburn is a 34-year-old unrestricted free agent, Dale Tallon could possibly sign him for either two or three seasons. In addition, Coburn’s annual average salary would likely fall in the range of $3-4 million, as well. This would be an ideal contract for a proven veteran defenseman who can instantly transform Florida’s defense.
Also, Braydon Coburn would bring plenty of Stanley Cup Playoff experience. The Canadian native has played in a grand total of 134 playoff contests, producing 32 points and reaching the Stanley Cup Finals twice.
If signed, Joel Quenneville can immediately pencil in Braydon Coburn on the team’s third pair alongside MacKenzie Weegar or Josh Brown.
Furthermore, Coburn can also kill penalties, thus providing the Cats with another weapon on their penalty killing units.
Ultimately, the Florida Panthers should absolutely make an effort to sign Braydon Coburn during the free agency period in July. The veteran Coburn would evidently be an ideal fit, and could help turn the Florida Panthers into a potential Stanley Cup contender.