Flyers: Elder statesman Coburn still in Orange and Black
Jimmy Rollins. Andre Iguodala. Jamaal Jackson. And Braydon Coburn. It’s an unlikely quartet with a special bond. They’re the last menstanding for the four Philadelphia teams
Jimmy Rollins. Andre Iguodala. Jamaal Jackson. And Braydon Coburn.
It’s an unlikely quartet with a special bond. They’re the last men standing for the four Philadelphia teams.
“It’s an honor,” said the 26-year-old Coburn. “I love playing for this team and being in this organization. It’s been like a family since I got here.”
On Feb. 24, 2007, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren swiped Coburn (the No. 8 pick in the 2003 draft) from Atlanta for veteran defenseman Alexei Zhitnik. Five years later, Coburn has entrenched himself as a mainstay on Peter Laviolette’s defense, usually paired with 2008 acquisition Matt Carle.
Meanwhile, the entire roster, including forgettable names like Randy Robitaille, Ryan Potulny and Jussi Timonen (Kimmo’s little brother), has come and gone. But it wasn’t as if Philadelphia was completely foreign territory to Coburn, generally a stay-at-home defenseman who doesn’t score a lot or go to the box too much.
“I’d played for the Chicago Wolves in the Calder Cup [losing to the Phantoms in the 2005 finals], the year of the lockout,” said the 6-foot-5, 220-pound native of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan (Canada). “It was a madhouse here, a tough building to come and play. Whenever you get traded it’s really a nice thing to come to a place where I knew guys. I knew Jeff [Carter] and Scottie Upshall from World Juniors, so there was familiarity among the players that made it an easy transition for me.”
Now it’s come full circle and he’s the one easing the transition for youngsters like Marc Andre-Bourdon, Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn.
“I don’t really think about it,” Coburn said of the steady turnover in the locker room “We’ve got new guys coming in all the time. There’s always a new challenge ahead.”
But for the foreseeable future, chances are Braydon Coburn — the last Flyer standing — will be here to face it.