Sources believe Braydon Coburn could be in play this weekend as the NHL draft approaches.
Now a report from TSN insider Darren Dreger has the Flyers shopping defenseman Braydon Coburn, with the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes being named as two of the possible destinations for the 28-year-old blueliner.
Some may see the potential trade of Braydon Coburn as puzzling, seeing as defense is one of the areas Philly needs to improve on, but Coburn could help net the team a significant asset on the trade market.
As a 6'5", 220-pound defenseman, Coburn would be an excellent addition for both the Oilers and Hurricanes, who are both looking to bolster their defensive cores this offseason.
Prior to 2013, Coburn had played at least 78 games in each of his last five seasons with the Flyers, registering a positive player rating in four of them.
Per Hockey-Reference.com, Coburn has also played at least 21 minutes per game every in season since 2007-08.
There is no doubt that Coburn could be exactly the type of player a team like Edmonton is looking for to take the next step.
So what should Philadelphia be looking for from teams like the Edmonton Oilers, or the Carolina Hurricanes?
Considering they'd be parting with, arguably, their best defensive defenseman, it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to set the bar fairly high.
Sure, Coburn's contract coming off the books would be a plus for Philly, but it isn't something they should be looking desperately at doing.
Therefore, if Paul Holmgren was smart, he'd ask the Oilers for the seventh overall pick in exchange for Coburn straight up.
After all, Edmonton has more than enough cap space to accommodate the Calgary native, and it's not likely that they'll be able to find a player that can perform at the level Coburn can for another few years with the seventh selection.
When all is said and done, the Oilers would improve both in the short-term and long-term and wouldn't have to part with any roster players, keeping their current playoff ambitions in tact.
Meanwhile, the Flyers would have a hole on defense in the short-term, but they'd clear another $4.5 million from their cap and would then possess the No. 7 overall pick, as well as the 11th overall draft choice.
With those two picks, they could conceivably draft Darnell Nurse (assuming Carolina doesn't scoop him up—more on that in a second), as well as Nikita Zadorov or Rasmus Ristolainen. That would pretty much set Philadelphia up for sustained success on the backend for a long period of time.
Should the Oilers insist on receiving more in the package, it is imperative that Paul Holmgren keep the team's first-round selection.
How can he achieve this?
By sacrificing the cap space instead of the draft pick.
Holmgren should offer to bring back one of Edmonton's more undesirable contracts, like Shawn Horcoff.
Sure, it would put a dent of $1 million into an already tight salary cap, but it would give the Flyers an incredible opportunity to draft two standout prospects.
In the end, Coburn for the seventh pick should suffice.
As for the potential deal involving Carolina, it's well known that the 'Canes are willing to part with the fifth overall pick for the right price (per Chip Alexander):
Hearing Canes could trade No. 5 pick and move down on draft day if their draft target is taken in top four picks. Unlikely Canes to move up.— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) June 21, 2013
Swapping Coburn for the fifth pick straight up would yield the exact same benefits as trading for Edmonton's pick.
Do you think Paul Holmgren can land the 5th or 7th overall pick in exchange for Braydon Coburn?
Trading with Carolina, however, would pretty much guarantee that the Flyers receive defenseman Darnell Nurse (unless for some reason Nurse were to go somewhere in the top four).
While it may seem like the fifth overall pick would merit a bit more than the seventh overall pick, Holmgren should stick to his guns and settle for the seventh pick if Carolina doesn't want Coburn badly enough to trade the No. 5 pick straight up.
Being a former top-10 pick himself and only 28 years old, Braydon Coburn is a very valuable asset and Paul Holmgren should not settle for anything less than fair market value for him.
If he can somehow drum up some sort of bidding war for Coburn, that would be even better.
In any case, any deal involving Coburn, must ensure Philadelphia does not part with the 11th overall pick, in order to stock-up on premium talent at the Prudential Center on draft day.