Flyers Go on the Defensive

Trade for Meszaros, Re-sign Coburn to sure up the back line

The Flyers started out the NHL's free agency period with a flurry of moves focused on solidifying up their back line.

The Flyers brought in one new defender and resigned one of their own Thursday.

The Fly Guys nabbed defenseman Andrej Meszaros from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

The 6-foot-2, 223-pound Slovakian was initially acquired by the Ottawa Senators in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft (23rd overall pick). This past season with the Lightning, Meszaros recorded 17 points (6 goals,11 assists) and 50 penalty minutes in a total of 81 games.

A far cry from what Tampa Bay hoped for when they traded for Meszaros in 2008. but that doesn't mean the Flyers don't see upside in the 24-year-old.

“We are excited to add Andrej to our team and defensive group,” said general manager Paul Holmgren. “Andrej is a young, durable defenseman who can play in all situations and will be a good fit on our Club."

Meszaros was named to the NHL All-Star Rookie Team in 2006 and went scoreless when he played on Team Slovakia in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The Flyers also signed defenseman Braydon Coburn to a two-year $6.4 million contract extension, according to

Coburn was first acquired to the Flyers in February of 2007 from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Alexei Zhitnik. During his time with the Flyers, Coburn has posted 90 points (24G, 66A) and 151 penalty minutes in 259 regular season games.

The 25-year-old assisted the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final. He appeared in all 23 playoff games, recording four points (1G, 3A), 22 penalty minutes and averaging more than 25 minutes on the ice.

As Coburn joins goalie Michael Leighton in a contract extension with the Flyers, fans are hoping to get another shot at the Stanley Cup next season.

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