There are a few ways of looking at the 4-year, $18-million deal the Philadelphia Flyers handed to Braydon Coburn on Wednesday, which goes into effect next season.
First off: He was probably going to get the money as an unrestricted free agent next summer. That's Mike Komisarek/Dan Hamhuis territory, and Coburn legitimately slots in around that cap hit as a player who plays shutdown defense, pops in a few points and logs 21:04 a night. The fact that he's Kimmo Timonen's running mate (at least for this season and the next) makes him an essential asset for the Flyers.
That said: The Flyers now have approximately $25.4 million committed to their blueline and starting goaltending for 2012-13, with Matt Carle still lingering as an unrestricted free agent next summer. That's more money than a Kardashian spends on the backend. The Penguins, by comparison, have $21.3 million committed to their top four and goaltender for next season.
As we said, Carle still lingers for next summer, as Travis...