Braydon Coburn

Here come the Coburn-Oilers rumors again


If you missed out on the rumors last summer that involved the Edmonton Oilers being hot after Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn, fear not for they are new again.

Mark Spector of Sportsnet spoke with Oilers GM Craig MacTavish about what the team needs to address this summer and finding defensive depth via free agency or trades was high on his list.

“We’d like to get a five-six defenseman who is a good penalty killer and good shut-down player,” MacTavish said. “So, we’re looking at both extremes of our defense. We’re trying to get bigger up front. We’ve got the toughest element to get (skill), but I think we can augment that with players who are bigger, stronger and more productive than what we’ve had.”

Spector followed that up suggesting the Oilers again target Coburn to help beef up the defense. David Staples of the Edmonton Journal has an idea what might work to get a deal done between the two sides.

Would the Oilers give up Martin Marincin or Oscar Klefbom for Coburn? That is what it would take, one would expect. Marincin could well be headed for the kind of career Coburn now has, so would it be wise to give up on that kind of prospect? The Oilers also seem high on Klefbom.

The Flyers surely can’t afford to just give away defensemen and a younger blue liner in return would help. There’s no doubt there’s a need there for both teams, but finding help in each other is the hard part. The talk about Coburn from those in Edmonton certainly makes it seem like there’s a desire there.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: