NUMBER 42/24/07 – Alexi Zhitnik to Atlanta for Braydon Coburn.
It’s because of trades like this that hockey is no longer played in Atlanta. The Thrashers were desperate to make the playoffs and try to build some momentum in a non-traditional hockey market.
The Flyers were having a woeful season and Paul Holmgren still had the interim tag on his role as general manager. But, trading Zhitnik, a veteran defenseman who was only with the team for two months – and was nearing the end of his career, for a top defensive prospect was a steal.
Zhitnik went on to play one more season with the Thrashers before defecting to the KHL for a couple of seasons.
Meanwhile, Coburn developed into a steady and reliable defenseman for the Flyers. He was considered one of their two best defenseman (along with Kimmo Timonen) during the 2007-08 season which ended with a surprise trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, and since then has been a consistent piece of the Flyers defensive corps.