Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Coburn happy to stay with Lightning for 3-year, $11M deal

NEWARK, N.J. — This time last year, D Braydon Coburn's life was turned upside down in a deadline deal that sent him from Philadelphia to Tampa.

Coburn, 30, has liked it so much with the Lightning he wanted to stay, and he got his wish Friday, signing a three-year, $11.1 million contract extension.

Coburn, who could have been an unrestricted free agent this summer, received a full no-trade clause good now through the first two seasons of the deal and a limited no-trade clause in the third year, an important aspect for him and his family.

"This team, I feel like we've got something special going on, and (I) really wanted to be part of it," Coburn said. "Me and my family, it was something that if we knew there was a possibility for us to stay, we wanted to stay."

Coburn will make less annually the he had been making ($3.7 million versus $4.5 million this season) but got security. He was approached by the Lightning a week or so ago. GM Steve Yzerman had said since he acquired Coburn — giving up D Radko Gudas and first- and third-round draft picks — that his intention was to keep the veteran defenseman beyond his current contract.

"What is important for us (is) he's big and he can skate, he plays both left and right side," Yzerman said. "The flexibility of using him in both positions makes him very valuable for us."

Coburn, who scored the winning goal in Game 7 of the first-round play series with the Red Wings in April, is a key penalty killer, leading the Lightning in average shorthanded ice time (2 minutes, 10 seconds). At 6 feet 5 and 226 pounds, Coburn provides size and physicality. He entered Friday's game against the Devils third on the team in blocked shots and hits.

"He's been nothing but a steady minute-munching defenseman back there for us," coach Jon Cooper said. "When I think of Braydon Coburn, I think of 'Steady Eddy,' kills penalties for us and gives you solid minutes in a top-four role."

TRADE TALK: Yzerman indicated nothing was imminent on the trade front and played in Friday's Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game in Denver. He planned to take an early flight back to Tampa today and meet with scouts and team executives.

"We'll kind of all get together (today) and make any final decisions on potential options that we might want to pursue," Yzerman said.

C Steven Stamkos said players will be watching closely but are comfortable with the team as is.

Said Cooper: "This is our group. We've gone far with this group in the past, and we feel we can do the same thing in the future."

NUTS AND BOLTS: RW Nikita Kucherov returned after missing the previous two games with a lower-body injury. … RW Erik Condra and D Matt Taormina were scratched. … G Andrei Vasilevskiy, reassigned to AHL Syracuse on Thursday to get playing time, told the Syracuse Post-Standard he was to be driven to Boston today to meet the Lightning for back-to-back games Sunday against the Bruins and Monday at the Maple Leafs. … Crunch forwards Joel Vermin and Matt Peca returned to the lineup after lengthy injury absences.

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