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Lightning sign Coburn to three-year contract

Tampa Bay defenseman would have been unrestricted free agent

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Defenseman Braydon Coburn was re-signed to a three-year contract by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.

Terms of the contract were not released, as per Lightning policy, but the value of the contract was $11.1 million, according to a TSN report. Coburn was at the morning skate with the Lightning at Prudential Center on Friday in preparation for their game against the New Jersey Devils.

"It's a great feeling for me and my family," Coburn said, "and we've very appreciative of Mr. Jeff Vinik (owner and chairman) and the entire Lightning organization that they wanted to do this for three years and we're excited to keep living in Tampa. It's a great place and has been a great fit for me since I got traded down here and I've enjoyed it. There are a lot of good things happening with this team."

Coburn, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, was acquired by the Lightning in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on March 2, 2015. Coburn, who turns 31 on Saturday, has one goal and nine points in 60 games for Tampa Bay this season.

The first two years of Coburn's contract contain a no-trade clause and the third year a limited no-trade clause.

"It is important to me," he said. "I really feel like we have something special going on here and I really wanted to be part of it. The coaching staff, trainers, everybody that's here are class-A people and I want to be a part of that."

Coburn has provided a physical presence along the blue line while playing a top-four role for coach Jon Cooper. Coburn also is a key player on the penalty-killing unit, which ranks seventh in the NHL.

"Everyone is happy for him," captain Steven Stamkos said. "He was a key piece to our run last year. We were able to get him at the deadline and just see the professionalism and veteran leadership that he brings, the steadiness on the back end. I don't think you can have enough guys that can defend as well as him and be that physical presence that I think we were lacking last year. We're getting the guys going that need to get going in order to make a run."

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