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Deep Blue Sea: Justin Braun may be on the move

Plus plenty of trade deadline rumors, MacKinnon gets away with slashing an official, Tarasenko set to return and more in today’s news and notes.

Justin Braun #61 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on against the Los Angeles Kings at Wells Fargo Center on January 29, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Trade rumors are stacking up and among the names of players who might have a new home come next month’s trade deadline is Philadelphia Flyers defender Justin Braun.

Of course, the 35-year-old is only in his third season with the Flyers, having been drafted in the seventh round of the 2007 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks and coming up through their American Hockey League team before finding an NHL role beside Marc-Edouard Vlasic. After nine years and more than 600 games, he was traded to the Flyers in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2019 draft and third-round pick in the 2020 draft. Both picks were later traded again, one of which allowed the team to select Ozzy Wiesblatt in the first round of the 2020 draft.

Braun signed a two-year contract extension with the Flyers in 2020, carrying a $1.8 million cap hit. He’d be a cheap rental for a team looking for a depth defender with 100 games of playoffs experience under his belt. He’s not likely to be a move that markedly improves a contender, but as a seventh defender for a playoff run — which can often come down to which team is healthiest in the end — there are worse options out there.

“That’s everyday life in the NHL,” Braun told media on Sunday. “You never know when you’re going to get moved if you don’t have a no-move, or no-trade, or whatever. You just got to keep working every day, trying to help your team win. That’s the goal every time I go out there.”

According to The Fourth Period, four teams may have interest in his services, though one mentioned, the Toronto Maple Leafs, recently acquired defender Ilya Lyubushkin, so Braun is likely off the table there. The Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators are also in the mix, or he may return to the Pacific Division on a dominate Calgary Flames team.

The Flyers are going to be selling off some major pieces, potentially including captain Claude Giroux, so they’ll definitely be a team to keep an eye on approaching the trade deadline.

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