Erik Gudbranson’s tenure in Vancouver may continue past the trade deadline and beyond, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie:
“There are a lot of people in Vancouver who assume that it’s a foregone conclusion that pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Erik Gudbranson will be dealt as a rental at the deadline; but the Vancouver Canucks are not necessarily among those people. Not just yet, anyways.”
Per McKenzie on Insider Trading, despite getting ton of offers for Erik Gudbranson, the #Canucks No. 1 priority is to re-sign the defenceman to a multi-year contract. https://t.co/QQRt6eAUdS #TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/MpNG3CM8kg
— Grady Sas (@GradySas) January 30, 2018
Jim Benning essentially confirmed McKenzie’s report in a conversation with friend of the blog Iain MacIntyre, indicating that he feels Gudbranson provides a physical dimension that the team is lacking and that will be needed in insulate the team’s young players: “[W]e want our young players to be able to play and develop without worrying about getting picked on… We need to have guys on our team who will stand up for them.”
GM Benning confirms he'll try to re-sign Erik Gudbranson rather than trade him.
“As long as a player can play in today’s game, you’re always going to need a defencemen who can play physical, especially in our division. There’s always going to be room for a guy like that.”
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) January 31, 2018
It’s worth noting that Jim Benning made similar comments prior to last year’s trade deadline, so perhaps they should be taken with a grain of salt. Still, it’s unlikely the market will bear a price similar to the one the Canucks gave up for Gudbranson this time around. Perhaps the idea of dealing him for a mid-round pick is simply too unpalatable. We’ll have more analysis of the possibility of a new Erik Gudbranson contract as the deadline approaches.