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Vancouver Canucks trade Erik Gudbranson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Tanner Pearson

It was a silent day for the Canucks all the way up to the trade deadline. No obtaining, no marketing, no “hockey trades.”

Soon after the deadline handed, having said that, it came out that the Canucks did submit a couple trades in time. A person included a participant that seemed untradeable: Erik Gudbranson, who the Canucks traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger Tanner Pearson.

Both of those Gudbranson and Pearson are signed by way of 2021 to a very similar cap hit: Pearson makes $3.75 million per calendar year in contrast to Gudbranson’s $4 million. Since no salary was retained, the Canucks will help you save $250,000 per period off the salary cap more than the subsequent couple years.

The only motive this trade happened is that equally the Canucks and Penguins desired to move on from the two gamers and their contracts. For each and every of them, the grass evidently looked greener on the other facet.

The Penguins had a dire have to have for defencemen soon after Brian Dumoulin and Kris Letang received wounded on the eve of the trade deadline. With Olli Maatta already out for more than a month, you can comprehend them hunting for help on the trade market place. However for them, the market place was lower on defenceman rentals.

So, they turned to the Canucks and Gudbranson.

Gudbranson’s trade price has cratered given that the Florida Panthers traded him to the Canucks. Back again in 2016, the Canucks despatched previous first-spherical choose Jared McCann, a second-spherical choose, and a fourth-spherical choose to the Panthers for Gudbranson and a fifth-spherical choose.

In his a few period with the Canucks, no NHL defenceman has been on the ice for a larger fee of aims towards at 5-on-5 than Gudbranson. On top rated of that, many thanks in portion to his incapacity to move the puck up ice with possession, only two defencemen have been on the ice for a decrease fee of aims for at 5-on-5 than Gudbranson: Luke Schenn and Mark Borowiecki.



This period, it is been far more of the very same. Gudbranson has been on the ice for 4.04 aims towards per 60 5-on-5 minutes. Only Brandon Manning and Chris Wideman have been even worse than Gudbranson. Even Gudbranson’s most die-tricky supporters have generally acknowledged that the recreation has handed him by: he’s simply just not cell plenty of and doesn’t move the puck very well plenty of to take care of the speed of the modern day NHL.

So, instead of a package of futures, the Canucks received Pearson, a 26-calendar year-aged remaining wing that has struggled in Pittsburgh this period.

Canucks supporters will be acquainted with Pearson from his years with the Los Angeles Kings, where he set alongside one another a couple 40+ level seasons. The hope, then, would be that Pearson can bounce again from his struggles in Pittsburgh and develop into a productive winger for the Canucks.



There are explanations to be anxious about Pearson. His underlying figures have cratered this period soon after sturdy career figures with the Kings. His absence of scoring this period is one more concern, specifically given that Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin has been his most regular linemates this period.

Here’s the detail: it is a ton simpler to shelter a battling winger than it is to shelter a battling defenceman.

You simply cannot bench a defenceman when they’re acquiring a undesirable recreation, as groups ordinarily costume just 6 defencemen per recreation. As Travis Green has built eminently obvious, you can bench a forward. Or scratch them.

For the Canucks, this has to be seen as a big acquire. They get a participant with some offensive upside that is appreciably a lot less harmful to the workforce if he doesn’t do the job out. They also move on from a participant that, by his individual admission, struggled mightily in Vancouver.

“Honestly, I’m not as well proud of it,” he explained to TSN 1040. “I never imagine I played incredibly very well. I worked tricky every single single day, came to the rink and tried to get it alongside one another.”

That is some refreshing self-awareness. Maybe Gudbranson will thrive in Pittsburgh on a far more playoff-completely ready workforce. That explained, he’ll be on a blue line decimated by accidents and will likely engage in with Jack Johnson, who has struggled about as significantly as Gudbranson.

This trade appears like a loss for the Penguins, who now have Gudbranson signed by way of 2021 and Johnson signed by way of 2023. That is a full 3rd of their defence corps that struggle to protect their individual zone and simply cannot move the puck up ice. They imagine they are obtaining anyone that can “safeguard our gamers,” but which is not only an outdated way of hunting at the recreation, Gudbranson hasn’t performed a full ton of guarding in Vancouver this period. 


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