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Flyers made Braydon Coburn a $4.5-million-per-year defensemanThere are a few ways of looking at the 4-year, $18-million deal the Philadelphia Flyers handed to Braydon Coburn(notes) 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(notes)/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(notes) 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(notes) 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 Hughes writes:

What do you think this means for Matt Carle? Carle makes $3.437 against the cap on his current deal, and you have to assume he's going to get more than Coburn, right? .... right?

Cap Geek projected the Flyers to have $9,916,627 in cap space for 2012-13 before this signing. Which, it should be said, brings back a solid player who does battle some peaks and valleys.

Hey, if nothing else, Coburn for Alexei Zhitnik remains one of the most lopsided trades in the last decade.

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