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.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

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.

  • MattyT

    Foundational trade. Another Benning bust exposed and he doesn’t even recoup a draft pick ffs. McCann and Guddy are now team mates, oh the irony.

    “I’m not a patient person. We expect to win because we hate losing. I can’t watch losing hockey. I can’t.” Jim Benning

    Get this loser Benning off my club NOW – he has ROBBED US all of five [email protected] years we can never have back and told us Slugbranson was foundational. Does that mean Tanner Pearson is now foundational?

    • Kootenaydude

      One day people like you are saying trade Gudbranson for a bag of pucks. Then when they trade home. You’re still whining like a little bi*#h. Typical

      • MattyT

        No, i’m not a flip flopping little bi*#h like you kooty. I didn’t want Guddy from DAY ONE and the fact that he is now traded after being called ‘foundational’ shows I was bang on. I NEVER wanted him. Period.

        • Green Bastard

          You’re a TOTAL flip flop MattyT, that’s why you change your name every week or two, you’re a switch hitter. <- Period. And even if you're LYING about not wanting big Eric, what about your misguided passion for Casey and Cody, huh?

      • Cageyvet

        Yeah, funny how people can complain about declining value trades and not recognize the value increase here. Even if we end up flipping Pearson down the road, I expect a better return than what Guddy was worth. Look forward and build value, maybe a Pearson plus someone nets us a top 4 defenseman, who knows? All I know is this was a solid trade.

    • On what basis are you making that comment? In the last 5 full seasons with LA, Pearson had an average Corsi/Fenwick of 55% (51-58%) with Carter and Toffoli with a PPG of 0.47 (143 pts in 308 games). That’s solid middle-6 complimentary scoring.

    • Rusty bucket

      Pearson is a top 9 left winger that hopefully can tap into his scoring touch and be in the top 6. The Canucks’ biggest hole other than RHD is LW, especially when you consider how sensitive post concussion syndrome is and could result in Baertschi potentially never playing again (hope to gawd this isn’t the case). A hole was filled and losing Guddy may be an addition via subtraction. What kind of value did he have after the body of work he put in Vancouver? He has the draft pedigree, size, and premiere position, but doesn’t play hockey well (for Vancouver at least). I am curious who Canucks ice tonight on D though.

      • What frustrates me about Gudbranson is just how it exemplifies the problems in pro scouting and player evaluation with this management group. They overpaid for him, and then rather than trading him when they had apparently some very good offers on the table at the last deadline, they re-signed him to a three year deal. Here we are a year later and Gudbranson has played *exactly* how anyone who’s been following along would expect him to play, and management has decided now that he’s bad and they should trade him.

        Pearson is solid return for Gudbranson at this point – the issue is that it should never have gotten to *this point*. They shouldn’t have traded for him in the first place, and they should have taken what was available last year for him, and they don’t seem to be learning from these mistakes.

        • DJ_44

          I find it diffucult to believe that the supposed offers for gudbranson were there….or that he would have cleared the medical evaluations of a trade since he did need surgury to repair the shoulder (or was it a wrist).

  • Captain Video

    A middle six winger for Gudbranson is more than I was expecting. Unfortunately, the Canucks traded away more than a middle six winger to get Gudbranson in the first place, so consider this the epilogue to an inexorable tragedy of mismanagement and poor Pro scouting.

      • DogBreath

        We’re all fans and hope for the best. We have different views on how the team gets there.

        I just hope that its not open season on the young / little guys now and the opposition doesn’t liberties on Markstrom. The team is so small and lacking a physical response. Who’s taking on Getzlaf tonight if he takes a run at Petterssen? No one really jumps to mind. Suspect Getzlaf realizes this and will play accordingly.

        • Boywonder

          Pretty sure Guddy didn’t do much of that deterring when he was playing anyways. But I suspect they’re probably gonna look at keep MacEwen with the big club sooner rather than later for this role

  • Benning could start with a house and turn it into a paperclip via trades.

    At least this gets one of the worst defenceman in the league off the team. Maybe he’ll flip Pearson for something?

  • Freud

    The initial potential for the assets given up for Gudbransen was Pastrnak and DeBrincat.

    Taking McCann over Pastrnak I could live with, but you have to raise an eyebrow knowing Benning was discussing Pastrnak all season with the Bruins before coming over.

    At the beginning of a supposed rebuild, to flip cost controlled McCann and a 2nd for an older d-man who people screamed “don’t touch!” was unforgivable. We see it’s now it’s from page one of the Chiarelli playbook. We won’t even mention the defence man was due a new contract after only 2 more seasons.

    So, this team could be icing a 21 and 22 year old who have combined for 65 goals this season. Instead, Benning magically turned that potential into a 26 year old with 9 goals while icing the worst team in the league over the 3 seasons Gudbransen played.

    This is exactly what Chiarelli did to Edmonton.

    But somehow the tired, beaten down fanbase is just happy the team got “something” for Gudbransen.

    Let the excuses continue…

    • steviewire

      I think the McCann pick was a case of drafting from positional need, as the Canucks were sorely in need of center depth. I don’t get the obsession some people have with drafting from hindsight. Most people understand that other than a few sure things, the draft is a crapshoot. Every organization has their share of misses

      • Freud

        You’re missing the point, not surprised.

        This is a trend for Benning. He bleeds value on a large portion of his picks and transactions. His process is flawed and his understanding is limited.

        He starts with a first and a second, through a number of choices and decisions, all in Benning’s control, he ends up with a washed up 9 goal scorer.

        He started with a dollar and ended up with 5 cents.

        This is how Edmonton blew it. This team is next.

    • TheRealPB

      You can assess the Gudbranson saga as a loss because in the end McCann is a slightly better (and younger) forward than EG who was an oft-injured and ineffective defenseman. To say that it should be equated as Pastrnak and Debrincat for Gudbranson is ridiculous. It’s like saying the Neely trade should be thought of as Pedersen for Neely and Sakic — who was picked 16th instead of Wesley who the Bruins took with the 1st they got in the deal.

      In the end it was a bad bet all around — Gudbranson was terrible, McCann has been ok, Ang and Candella remain prospects, Asplund has stalled, and Mascherin didn’t sign with Florida. I don’t think you have to extend the story to make it even worse for Benning, it was a bad deal even without the hyperbole.

        • TheRealPB

          Your “concept” is that instead of Gudbranson we should have Pastrnak and Debrincat. Your “concept” is laughable because it’s utterly impossible to make with the kind of certainty you do. It is enough to say that we would be better off today with McCann and whoever we selected with the 2nd rounder than with three terrible years of Gudbranson. Extending your argument in this ridiculous manner doesn’t do anything other than make you look foolish.

  • Kootenaydude

    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!

  • petey40

    So Dahlen for Burrows now looks pretty pointless and the kid never even got a chance to rekindle his proven chemistry with Pettersson. Wow, just wow.

    What I will say about Guddy and McCann though is why are one of the best run franchises of the last ten years plus, a three time cup winner, investing in two players this entire fanbase absolutely slated and still do. What are they seeing that we aren’t?

    • Beer Can Boyd

      I have to agree petey. For sure they should have called him up and played him with EP for a few games before making a decision like this. They would have had absolutely nothing to lose, and if/when this backfires, Benning will be fired. Wonder what Pettersson thinks of the trade? Also, welcome to the Canucks Ryan Spooner. I mean, Tanner Pearson. Sorry, Josh Leivo. They might not be top 6, but for sure they are top 9, huh? Oh well. At least they got rid of the worst defenseman in the league.

      • Nucklehead

        I like the take Boyd, I would have really liked to have seen Dahlen audition with EP at the NHL level, have them rekindle the magic from the Allsvenskan. Maybe Dahlen would have stepped up. I think the drawbacks would have been how that would have looked to all the other prospects paying their dues in Utica ahead of Dahlen on the development curve and could have revealed his deficiencies prior to a trade. We’ll never know. I’m definitely curious what Pettersson thinks about it but he looked plenty happy during the win last night.

      • Rusty bucket

        I wouldn’t write it off yet. In Linus Karlsson’s draft year he was rated a top forward in that league. He may not be putting up the same points as Dahlen did in his D+1 year, but you you have to remember Dahlen had Pettersson feeding him pucks.

    • I’m disappointed that Dahlen was traded before he had a chance to even finish the year with Utica. 29 pts in 50 games seemed pretty decent for a rookie season. Karlsson is FAR less accomplished, not sure what Benning sees in him.

      • Gino's 3rd Cousin

        Karlsson has size and good hands and plays down the middle. He has more time to develop and from reports I’ve heard he is ahead of where he was expected to be. I was excited about Dahlen, but there seems to be a few elements missing in his game. This is the kind of trade that will be much easier to analyze in 2-3 years.