The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Braydon Coburn from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Radko Gudas, and a first- and third-round pick according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.
The Lighting had two first-round picks at their disposal for the upcoming draft, both of which stand to be late in the first, so they’ll still have one at their disposal. The club had been reportedly looking for defensive help after losing Matt Carle and Gudas to injury.
Coburn comes in and provides some immediate help as a shut-down defenseman who can play top-four minutes if needed. There won’t be much offense out of Coburn, as he has just nine points in 39 games this season.
The Flyers were reportedly looking to shed salary and with Coburn under contract through next season with a $4.5 million cap hit, he was one of the few assets on the back end that could bring back the value needed to pull the trigger. General manager Ron Hextall did extremely well to bring back a nice package that will include a roster player at a cheaper rate.
Gudas, who is currently recovering from right knee surgery, still has one year remaining on his contract. He is a physical defenseman that could fit in well with the Flyers defense, though he was primarily used as a bottom-pairing guy in Tampa.
The Flyers also may be waving the white flag a little bit as they fade in the playoff race. They’re still alive, but Gudas won’t be back until the end of the regular season at the earliest. Shedding salary while taking on some really solid assets for the future makes this one a winner for Philly.
That’s not to say the Lightning are losers in the deal. They paid a high price, but have a surplus of young talent and extra draft picks to spare. They bring in Coburn, who adds both a big body and a physical element that has been lacking from the blue line with Gudas on the shelf. He can also eat some of those tougher defensive assignments to alleviate some pressure from the top guys like Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman.
Coburn has 166 points in 614 NHL games. He has spent the last nine seasons with the Flyers, which has afforded him the opportunity to play in 72 Stanley Cup Playoff games.