This in from Mark Spector of Sportsnet, an interesting interview with Oilers GM Craig MacTavish that the Oilers are looking for a top defenceman, and Spector’s own contention that Philadelphia’s Braydon Coburn might be the target.

MacTavish told Spec that the Oilers can take on some salary in a trade and are looking for a puck-moving d-man. Spec then wrote: “Watch for Edmonton to again approach Philadelphia in hopes of helping the Flyers alleviate their glut of salary on defence. MacTavish has liked Braydon Coburn for some time. The Flyers have nearly $27 million committed to six defencemen, the priciest blueline in hockey.”

My take
Braydon Coburn, 29, is 6-feet, 5-inches, 220-pounds. His coaches clearly trusted him this past year, as he led the Flyers in 22:26 minutes per game, almost all of that at even strength and on the penalty kill. He was their number one d-man, but the Flyers went with Kimmo Timonen and Mark Streit on their power play. Coburn got 17 points in 82 games. He had 109 hits as well, indicating he takes the man, but doesn’t live to hit. He has two more years left on a contract that pays him $4.5 million a year. He’s from Calgary and played his junior hockey in Portland. He’s a durable player, who rarely misses games.

When it comes to the fancy stats, on-ice goals and shots plus-minus, he was part of a group of Flyers that got out-scored a bit at even strength and were out-shot a wee bit. He faced tough competition and was counted on to be out for own-zone face-offs.

Coburn doesn’t look like a player a team would want to move. He would appear to bring good value. That said, the Flyers puck-movers, Timonen and Streit, are old NHLers, and the younger d-men don’t look to be the most mobile bunch.

So a faster, cheaper young d-man might be just the ticket for Coburn. The trade would be similar in nature to the Magnus Paajarvi for David Perron trade MacTavish made last summer, a promising and cheaper younger player for a more productive and costly veteran.