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Photo Credit: NHL.com

Canucks trade Erik Gudbranson to Pittsburgh for Tanner Pearson

The Canucks have traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Tanner Pearson. The trade is one-for-one with no salary retained.

The 26-year-old forward Pearson has nine goals and 15 points in 61 games this season split between the Kings and Penguins. He was a first-round draft pick of the Kings in 2012 and was a member of the club’s Stanley Cup Winning team in 2014.

Pearson was traded to Pittsburgh back in November after managing no goals and just one assist in his first 17 games of the season with LA. He’s just two years removed from a career-high 24 goal, 44-point season and has two years left on a contract paying him $3.75 million per season.

Gudbranson spent three years in Vancouver after being acquired from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Jared McCann in 2016. The 27-year-old rearguard has two goals, six assists and a minus-27 rating in 57 games this season. The 6’5″ defensive defenseman failed to make much of an impact during his time with the Canucks and should benefit from a change of scenery.

With youngster and exciting defensive prospect Quinn Hughes expected to arrive in Vancouver soon, the Canucks appear to make off well in this deal. Gudbranson is signed for $4 million per year through 2021.

Gudbranson opened up about his time in Vancouver to TSN 1040:

“Honestly, I’m not too proud of it. I don’t think I played very well. I worked hard every single day, came to the rink and tried to get it together. I want to thank the Canucks for the time the spent, taking care of my injuries, and treating me with nothing but respect, and I really enjoyed my time here. I just wish I could have been better.”

Gudbranson played a physical game and provided grit to a team that was lacking in that department. The Canucks will miss his style of play, but they’re getting a proven scorer who should get an opportunity to be a top-six forward.

The Gudbranson deal comes amidst trade rumours around blueliner Alex Edler. According to GM Jim Benning, the Canucks did receive calls on Edler while trying to negotiate a new contract for the Swedish blueliner. Benning went to Edler’s agent with a couple trades, but the long-tenured Canuck was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause.

  • Brian Burke, Kelly Hrudey & Nick Kypreos all hated this trade for Vancouver and not because they don’t like Pearson. They all think Vancouver just got awfully soft, awfully fast.

    I guess now we find out if the old school hockey guys know anything cuz I’m an old school hockey guy and I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, we are awful soft on the back end, especially with Hughes and his 180lbs on the way. On the other hand Gudbranson was so hard to watch game in and game out. I know from a hockey sense we are better off and man, just to stop listening/reading to the same negative stuff about how bad he was every day like it was some new discovery thrills me. I’m a little concerned the summer may have been a better time for this deal just so guys like Petey, Boeser & Hughes have a little more to protect them down the stretch.
    If they come out of it unscathed, it was more than worth it just not to read about him again and here’s hoping Pearson can score 20 again and make this trade a win.

    • Agreed in that I’m also sick of reading the “worst defenceman ever” themed articles. For that reason alone, glad he’s been traded.

      Canucks don’t have much to lose with this deal. Time to move on.

      • There was so much conviction, it made me wonder if that had actually watched him play. Definitely shows he was still valuable to old school guys that hadn’t actually seen him play. We’ll soon see if face punching abilities and good looks were at all valuable or if they’re better off with hard work & better corsi of Biega

    • It was a well timed trade. Gudbranson needed to move on. The Canucks are out of the playoff race and should start a lot more youth in the coming days. Surprised at how little offense the veterans have supplied over the last few weeks. Time to audition players for next year. Would be nice to see McKwen back up for his toughness.

    • Kypreos thought the Canucks absolutely robbed FLA when the trade happened. Burke is old school. I still like toughness but you have to be an actual player these days. Guddy was just completely lost out there. I think Zack can pick up a bit of that slack but it’s not as important as it used to be. Scrums after the whistle, fights, etc are all down. It’s not the same game.

      I hate Bennings summer spending record but I actually think this situation is the right opportunity to shore up RHD. The Canucks have the cap space, the roster hole, and a paper thin prospect pool on the right side.

  • I’ll definitely admit that Guddy was not the dman that we all expected him to be as a former 3rd overall pick plus what we gave up for him. I also think this is ultimately a good trade for the Canucks. But…this total hate-on (not so much here, but on Twitter) for a, from what I’ve determined as an outsider, total stand-up guy whom team-mates appear to love really grinds my gears

    (insert Peter Griffin Grinds My Gears still).

    • Benning said some young players feel entitled and don’t want to pay their dues.
      Dahlen’s agent requested the trade.
      Edler would not waive but was asked.
      Pearson is insurance for Sven’s uncertainty..

    • Yeah I was on the fence with Gudbranson because I liked his presence…but considering my first reaction to the trade was joy, I now know what side of the fence I was on after all.

  • The whole Gudbrandon story is a complete failure by Benning, but I’m very happy that he managed to get rid of Gudbrandon. He was a terrible defenceman for Vancouver and it was time to move on. Glad we didn’t have to retain salary.

  • I just wish Gudbranson’s hockey talent matched his class personality. The guy admitted he never did play well here and he just never felt to me like a true Canuck, if there is such a thing. Along with Leipsic, Nilsson and MDZ that makes four guys gone from the Oct 3rd opening game roster now. Benning knew Gudbranson was a boo boo but at least he got something for him and eases up on a bit of cap room. Now no more crying about Guddy because he’s gone.

  • When things were going to get rowdy. It was always nice to have this guy on our team. This team just got real soft in a hurry. I can’t think of a wimpier team in the league right now. Looks like we’re going after a top pairing RHD in the off season!