Former Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn announced his retirement on Friday after 983 games in the NHL across 16 seasons.
Coburn was a large part of the Lightning’s defense core over six seasons in Tampa Bay which would culminate in the 2020 Stanley Cup Championship. He was a large, tough defenseman, playing 137 career playoff games with 65 of them coming with the Lightning.
The 6’5 defenseman was a winner and a consummate professional. His teams reached the conference finals seven times and the Stanley Cup Final three times. He finally got the chance to lift the cup on the trip to the Final after playing 964 career games.
Coburn was drafted 8th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers. He would play with the Thrashers, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, and the New York Islanders. Coburn would land in Tampa during the 2014-15 season after being traded by the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Radko Gudas and a first and third round draft pick. That season, Coburn would score his first goal with the Lightning in game seven of the Lightning’s first round series against the Detroit Red Wings.
Coburn’s game seven goal would go down as the series winner and one of the most famous goals in Lightning history. The goal would help the Lightning surge to the Stanley Cup final after a grueling series with Detroit.
Coby became known as one of the most reliable defensemen on the Lightning during his time in Tampa. He was extremely popular among his teammates and was the ultimate professional throughout. Later in his time in Tampa, Coburn would become a healthy scratch. He never complained and did everything in the best interest of the team. When his number was called, he was always ready. He was a winner. In 2020, he finally had the Stanley Cup to prove it.
The respect and appreciation his teammates had for him was best shown during the presentation of the 2020 Stanley Cup. Coburn was third to receive the cup after Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman. This was a testament to the respect and appreciation for Coburn, his importance to the Lightning and as his long wait to lift Lorde Stanley’s Cup.
One of the greatest examples of Coburn doing whatever it took to win came in game seven of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final against the Washington Capitals. After the Lightning got off to a poor start, Braydon Coburn showed the ultimate courage by dropping the gloves with Washington’s Tom Wilson, the most feared fighter in the NHL.
Coburn engaged Wilson in a spirited bout right after the two were released from the box for earlier matching penalties. Coburn did what he had to do to try and inject some life into his team. Very few in today’s NHL would be willing to rise to that occasion and Coburn deserved great respect.
The Smalltown kid from Shaunavon, Saskatchewan reached the pinnacle of the hockey world in 2020 and is now hanging them up. Coburn will continue living in the Tampa area with the opportunity to spend more time with his family.
Congrats on an outstanding career, Coby.