Opportunity Knocks

You hear that knocking, kid? It’s not the “knock-knock-knocks that knock around in your engine” like the old gasoline commercial talked about. It’s the opportunity to become a superstar. And the knocking couldn’t get much louder as the Flyers are set to face-off against the hated Pittsburgh Penguins and all of their much ballyhooed star power – the kind of star power the NHL wants to see get to the Stanley Cup Finals – unless you do something about it. Knock, knock, knock…

The Flyers’ brass knew pretty quickly that they really got one over on Atlanta last March, as they pulled off one of the most lopsided trades in NHL in the last ten years when they traded Alexi Zhitnik in exchange for Braydon Coburn, Atlanta’s hulking young, puck-moving defenseman.

Zhitnik took Atlanta nowhere, and he pretty much faded into irrelevance this season (eight points and a minus-eight rating) after a pretty strong campaign the year before with Long Island, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. Coburn, on the other hand, has blossomed into one of the brightest young stars on the blue line in the entire NHL. Coburn’s gaudy numbers include nine defensive goals, a solid 36 points and a whopping plus-17 rating on a Flyers team that one year ago was the league’s doormat. To top it all off, Coburn is only 23 years old.

But everything changed for Coburn yesterday when veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen found out he would be out indefinitely because of a blood clot in his leg. The Flyers, facing the NHL’s best one-two punch up the middle in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, basically will turn the reigns of their defense and their power play over to an unproven youngster – a player they only signed for two years because they wanted to see how he developed.

Braydon, wanna make $7,000,000 a year really fast? Find a way to carry the team like an A-list defenseman should, because if you do and Flyers move on, you are going to get paid like a rock star. The opportunity is yours, and it starts tonight at 7:30 pm at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. It’s time to step up…

About the author: Jerry Del Colliano is the publisher and founder of the home theater publications AVRev.com and ModernHomeTheater.com as well as the president of Beverly Hills based search engine optimization company 90210SEO.com. His upcoming book New School Sales will be released in mid-2009.

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