The Philadelphia Flyers announced the signing of stalwart defenseman Braydon Coburn to a brand new extension, which will keep him away from unrestricted free agency in the Summer and in the fold for four more seasons after this one. Yes, it was a 4-year, $18 million extension that was signed, giving the big defender a significant raise, lifting his cap hit from his current $3.2 million to $4.5 million per season in his new deal. The deal will extend his stay through the 2016 season.
It's been a bit of a slow start for Coburn, offensively, as the big defender only has 3 assists in 14 games for the Flyers, but his usefulness extends well beyond whatever offense he can bring to the table in a season. Coburn is known as a very solid defensive player, with a keen sense of the physical part of the game.
Last season, Coburn finished 112th in pool scoring among all defensemen, which had him well outside the reasonable boundaries of being draft-worthy, which is probably why he wasn't taken this year, but as injuries go in a year and how well the Flyers are doing offensively, there might be reason to take him later on in the year during a waiver draft.
The Flyers are currently projected to have a near-complete line-up signed on for the 2013 season, having 20 players (12 forwards, six defensemen and two goalies) signed on for $58.9 million, which leaves them plenty of space to play with for some depth players to help fill the gaps in their season, but you have to assume that they will still be busy, especially if they are unable to win it all in the Spring/Summer coming up.