Braydon Coburn was able to take his first spin on the ice as a member of the New York Islanders on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old NHL veteran took part in his first practice with his new team since he was acquired late Sunday night from the Ottawa Senators. Coburn cleared all the necessary quarantine requirements needed to join the club.
Coburn joins the club in the middle of a three-day break between games, which will finally come to an end on Thursday when the Islanders face the Boston Bruins as they hit the stretch run of the season. Coburn was picked up in a deal that sent a seventh-round draft pick to Ottawa and also required him to waive his no-trade clause in his contract.
“When you think of teams and you think of identities it’s not hard to pin an identity on this team,” Coburn said following Wednesday’s practice on Long Island. “They’re just a hard-working, great defensive team with a lot of skills. For me, it was an easy decision to come down here.”
🎥 Coburn Media Availability 🎥 pic.twitter.com/M8czf9KCep
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 14, 2021
Coburn has had plenty of time to see what the Islanders have been building over the past several years under Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz. He had a front-row seat last season during the playoff bubble of just how tough the Islanders have become.
Coburn was part of the 2020 Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning and watched as his side had to gut out wins over the Islanders in the Eastern Conference Finals.
“I was telling someone the other day that if you’re going to play the Islanders in a series I have to think they’re one of the toughest outs,” Coburn said. “To beat this team it’s really, really tough and I know last year with Tampa it was a grind for sure. And one that wasn’t taken lightly.”
The new Islanders defenseman said he is ready to play any role that they need him to play while he is on the team. That will likely be as a seventh defenseman along with veteran Thomas Hickey.
The Islanders learned last year how valuable depth is during a deep run into the postseason and they’ve been getting a taste of that again this season as well. While Trotz is intent on winning as many games in the Islanders’ final 14 contests of the regular season, he hinted that there could opportunities to get Coburn into the lineup to help rest other players.
“I think there’s going to be some opportunity to do that,” Trotz said when asked by a reporter about resting players and giving Coburn a chance to play. “I think one of the greatest things to have is some flexibility and as a coach having backside pressure on some people. I think you have some people that have arguably played very, very well that weren’t in the lineup the last game.”
New York is two points back of the Washington Capitals for the East Division lead and has certainly made themselves a permanent fixture in the Stanley Cup contender chatter this season. Last season was the team’s first trip back to the conference final since 1993.
They are hoping that the addition of a player like Coburn, who won the Cup last year and had two trips to the Cup Final during his time in Philadelphia, can help that desire to get the organization its first championship since 1983.
The success of last season for Coburn has him eying another chance to lift the Stanley Cup.
“Just to be part of a group that finally gets to the finish line is such a great feeling,” Coburn said. “It’s something that’s contagious and you kind of just want to keep working again and again. You want to be part of a group that has success, so that never really goes away.”