Flyers’ Braun retires after 13 NHL seasons

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Flyers' Justin Braun
Flyers’ Justin Braun (Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)

The final game for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2022-2023 season ended in a road victory against the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-4. Ivan Provorov scored the game-winner, driving the nail into Jonathan Toews’ last game in a Blackhawks sweater. His era wasn’t the only one coming to an end:

“It didn’t really hit me until Provy scored. It was an amazing run. I want to thank my wife and parents and kids for everything they did for me throughout my career.”

Justin Braun; 4/13/2023

It was also the conclusion to a thirteen-year NHL career for Justin Braun.

Braun, more or less, was finished after the season before the formal announcement earlier today. He spent almost four seasons with the Flyers, reaching the postseason with them once in 2019-2020.

“Every guy I’ve played with, it’s been an absolute honor. It’s a tough day, but it was a great run.”

Justin Braun; 4/13/2023

Holding back tears, Braun closed the book on his hockey career. He arrived in Philadelphia before the 2019-2020 season when Chuck Fletcher sent a 2019 second-round and 2020 third-round pick to the San Jose Sharks. In his first season with the Flyers, coached by Alain Vigneault, the team reached the postseason, playing inside a bubble during COVID. The next time he reached the playoffs was with the New York Rangers following the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline.

Before the 2022-2023 season, the Flyers signed Braun to a 1yr/$1.75mil deal. He brought veteran leadership into the locker room for the beginning of a rebuild. Additionally, he presented defensive depth. John Tortorella put players in new scenarios, and if it meant placing a defenseman as a winger on the fourth line to stiffen the forwards, he called on Braun. During the slough of a season, Braun kept trudging.

“The guys in the room made it not as tough during those tough years; losing and everything. I had a lot of great friends, lifelong friends; those are the people I’m going to miss.”

Justin Braun; 4/13/2023

His dad was on the bench during his final NHL game, an honorable nod from the Flyers to Braun for being a consummate professional. Braun noted that his father was there for him his entire career, as he thanked in a postgame interview in Chicago, and it was Tortorella who surprised him with the deed. The recipient of the Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award, Braun was celebrated for his contributions to hockey, on and off the ice.

“He’s almost like a parent; that guy that’s been through a lot of circumstances, or different situations, and is able to relay that to the rest of the team; help calm the team down. We had some other veteran guys that did that also; he’s just one of those guys that’s a great example: his leadership, demeanor for all the young guys to be able to look at and learn from, help them with their careers going forward.”

Darryl Williams; 4/13/2023

It was a poetic ending; Braun with father at the bench, watching his son be a father to the Flyers.

“The Flyers have been great to me. I can’t thank them enough. They were always there for me.”

Justin Braun; 4/13/2023

(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)