Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
By Scott Rosenhek
This morning, the Canucks announced the new extension awarded to defenseman Erik Gudbranson. The former 3rd overall selection from the 2010 Entry Draft was acquired last year through a contentious trade with Florida that involved sending Jared McCann, a 2nd and 4th for Gudbranson and a 5th.
Erik Gudbranson had a rough season to say the least. He bled shots and goals against and did not look good with Ben Hutton using both analytics and the eye-test. On top of that, Gudbranson missed the last half of the season with a wrist injury requiring surgery.
Among criticisms were his point production, as Gudbranson has a career high of 13 points and with his 6 in 30 games last year, he wasn’t on pace for too many more. Next season will give him the opportunity to establish himself as an important piece of the Canucks’ blue line moving forward.
I am surprised that Jim Benning only offered a one year “show me” deal considering he has shown a pattern of immediately signing new contracts to players he has acquired. This includes the likes of Luca Sbisa, Derek Dorsett and Brandon Sutter. In fact, Gudbranson will be making less money than Sbisa next season (noting it is only $100 000).
This kind of deal shows me that Jim Benning is now willing to be patient with his players and not hand out frivolous contracts as he did in previous years. I like this kind of deal because it gives Erik Gudbranson a second chance to prove he is worth a lengthy extension.
To me, the slate is clean for Erik Gudbranson. It will be up to him to prove that he is a fixture on this team when the season starts. I just can’t wait to see what happens next.