Winning the Stanley Cup last season with the Lightning after being a member of two teams that lost in the Cup Final has only fueled Braydon Coburn’s desire to lift the trophy again.
The 36-year-old defenseman, acquired from the Senators late Sunday night for a seventh-round pick in 2022, believes he has that chance with the Islanders.
"They’ve got a great team," Coburn said after Wednesday’s practice at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow. "They’ve got great depth. Defense is a really strong point of this team and I just hope to add to that. I’m basically here to do whatever they need me to do."
The Islanders open a two-game series in Boston on Thursday night to start a three-game road trip. It ends a rare lull in their schedule, coming off Sunday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Rangers to conclude a six-game homestand at Nassau Coliseum.
Coburn, who cleared COVID-19 protocols on Wednesday after driving from Ottawa to Long Island, will not necessarily jump right into the lineup as coach Barry Trotz has used his top six of Adam Pelech, Ryan Pulock, Nick Leddy, Scott Mayfield, Andy Greene and Noah Dobson in all but the eight games Dobson was forced to miss because of COVID protocols.
But NHL rosters are not limited to a 23-player maximum after Monday’s trade deadline. Trotz said the expanded roster might give him the opportunity to rotate players in, especially with forwards Michael Dal Colle (lower body) and Ross Johnston (undisclosed) possibly being available soon and ready to come off injured reserve. Leo Komarov, a favorite of the coach’s, will make his way back into the lineup eventually, too.
"I think winning trumps everything," Trotz said. "But I think there’s going to be some opportunity to do that. One of the greatest things to have is some flexibility."
The 6-5, 224-pound Coburn, in the second season of a two-year, $3.4 million deal, played in only 16 games for the Senators. He also appeared in just three playoff games for the Lightning last season and none as the Lightning eliminated the Islanders in six games in the Eastern Conference final.
Yet, in a sign of the respect he carries from teammates, he was the third player to hoist the Cup during the Lightning’s on-ice celebration, receiving it from defenseman Victor Hedman after captain Steven Stamkos went first.
Coburn was a member of the Flyers team that lost to the Blackhawks in the 2010 Cup Final and was with the Lightning in 2015 when they lost to the Blackhawks.
"The feeling was definitely one of almost relief and vindication," Coburn said. "To be part of a group that finally gets to the finish line was a great feeling. You want to keep winning again and again. You want to be part of a group that has success. That never goes away."
Coburn waived his no-trade clause to allow the salary cap-strapped Lightning to trade him to the Senators and waived it again to come to the Islanders.
Notes & quotes: Forward Collin Adams, a sixth-round pick in 2016, agreed to a two-year, two-way deal beginning next season. Adams had 33 goals and 44 assists in four college seasons at North Dakota.