Friday, September 28, 2007

Remembering Coburn in 2005

This morning I remembered talking to Braydon Coburn in December 2005 -- he had made the Thrashers roster out of camp, was told to find a place to live, and then as soon as he did he was quickly assigned to Chicago. A normally pretty confident, happy-go-lucky kid, the 20-year-old wasn't doing well mentally right then. Here's an excerpt of what I wrote at the time.

This fall,

Coburn came to Thrashers training camp in great shape, and was expected to stick, but after nine games it was clear that this transition wasn't going to be seamless. He wasn’t yet ready.

Coburn recognized that his play in Atlanta wasn’t up to snuff.

“I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped to,” he said last night following a 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals. “I was kind of (pause)…a little bit tentative at times I think up there. I didn’t totally feel comfortable, but I think the games I got a little bit more ice time I felt a little bit more comfortable and got into my game better. I didn’t play a lot, which I’ve got to learn to do early on here and grow into my game.”

Assigned to the farm club on Oct. 26, the Thrashers want him to keep working on his game, get lots of ice time, and confidence. Though he recognized his problems, it was still painful when the gauntlet fell.

“I was disappointed,” he said. “My goal coming into camp was to be in Atlanta all year. I was there for camp and the first part of the season and I thought I was getting closer. But I’ll do the best with what I’ve been given right now."

What he doesn’t say, but is evident in his manner both on and off the ice, is that he is frustrated. Living in a hotel for five weeks is never easy, and it doesn’t get easier when things aren’t going well on the ice.

The point here really makes itself, so I won't belabor it. Making the right decision on Bryan Little now is extremely important to avoid setbacks later.

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