Four days after acquiring forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello added to his defense Sunday night. Lamoriello acquired veteran blueliner, Braydon Coburn, from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2022.
The Islanders are going all-in this season to win a Stanley Cup and they are doing it by adding veterans around a good core of young players for head coach Barry Trotz. Coburn is in the final year of a two-year, $3.4 million contract that carries a cap hit of $1.7 million.
Coburn Brings Experience
Coburn has played in just 16 games this season for the Senators, but the 36-year-old veteran has played in 980 regular-season games and 137 playoff games. He has two assists this season with 14 blocked shots and 25 hits, but as his career has gone along, he has become more of a shutdown defensemen. He may not be the same defensemen he once was, but he will come in handy for an Islanders team that will have to get through the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins to get out of the tough and talented MassMutual East Division.
Coburn was selected eighth overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2003 Entry Draft. After 38 games over two seasons with the Thrashers, he was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers where his career took off over the next nine seasons. His best offensive season was in 2007-08 when he scored nine goals and had 27 assists.
In 2015, the Flyers sent Coburn to the Tampa Bay Lightning where he played six seasons with plenty of success. He led the Lightning to the 2015 Stanley Cup final where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. Five years later, he was part of the 2020 Stanley Cup championship team that beat the Dallas Stars in six games for the franchise’s second championship in 16 seasons. During the 2018-19 season, he had four goals and 19 assists in 74 games to help lead Tampa Bay to the Presidents’ Trophy.
In December, Tampa Bay traded Coburn to the Senators with Cedric Paquette and a second-round pick in 2022. In acquiring Coburn, he is added depth for the Islanders’ blue line for late in the regular season and postseason. Due to quarantine restrictions, he won’t be available for the Islanders until he goes through his COVID-19 testing and is cleared.
Senators Building For the Future With Picks
Trading Coburn was the second defensemen the Senators dealt away Sunday night. Ottawa sent Mike Reilly to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round draft pick. Like the Devils, the Senators are in rebuilding mode, and acquiring draft picks for expiring contracts is the way for them to go right now.
Ottawa may not be done either, as they have some pieces that other teams are interested in before the 3 p.m. trade deadline Monday. It may be frustrating for Senators’ fans, but they are building for the future through the draft.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.