Are the Edmonton Oilers interested in Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Braydon Coburn?
First, Coburn is a good fit for Edmonton’s needs. He has size (6’5″, 220 pounds), a physical game, skates well, and has some ability to move the puck. He’s primarily a defensive defenceman and plays on both sides of the ice but has a left-handed shot. It’s a mixture that – particularly with a weak free agent crop – the Oilers are going to have trouble finding.
Secondly, Coburn’s contract is both a decent fit for Edmonton and rich enough to be worth moving for Philadelphia. He has three years left on a deal with an average annual value of $4.5 million; it’s not so much money that it won’t fit in Edmonton but it’s enough money that it could clear a lot of space for the Flyers.
Finally, Coburn is likely vulnerable after a poor season. He fell to a career-low minus-10 rating, went from 24 points in 81 games to five in 33, and saw took 18 minor penalties in an abbreviated season after taking only 22 in 81 games the year prior. Some of the problems were illusory – his on-ice save percentage (something he can’t control) was a miserable 0.888 5-on-5. His on-ice shooting percentage was also remarkably low, meaning the Flyers struggled to score on shots with him on the ice (again, something likely outside his control). At age 28, with lots of problems happening with him on the ice that aren’t necessarily his fault, and with a long track record of strong play, Coburn’s in the sweet spot where a new team can plausibly look at him as a strong rebound candidate and an old team could see him as expendable.