There are some moves fans can just predict ahead of the trade deadline. For example, so many of us have our money of Buffalo Sabres top forward Evander Kane moving before Feb. 26. Fans can just feel it, based on precious information given by many NHL insiders.
The same has been expected of Vancouver Canucks pending free agent Erik Gudbranson, who listed at No. 14 on the TSN Trade Bait board. Trade chatter has placed him on the block for over a month and fans are getting ready: the defenseman is going to move.
But wait a minute!
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie has now revealed that the Canucks are not in a rush to move Gudbranson, and will even engage in contract talks with the blue liner.
"There are a lot of people in Vancouver who assume that it is a foregone conclusion that pending unrestricted free agent Erik Gudbranson will be dealt as a rental at the deadline, but the Vancouver Canucks are not necessarily amongst those people," McKenzie said on Tuesday's edition of Insider Trading.
"Not just yet anyways. The first priority at this point is to try to negotiate an extension with Gudbranson and while there haven’t been any specific contract talks, there is expected to be some conversation over the next week or two with his representatives aimed to try to get a multi-year extension done.
"Only if they can’t get that extension done does he become a likely move at the deadline as a rental and they’re getting lots of calls on him at this time."
In 32 games with Vancouver this season, the 26-year-old has recorded a goal and three points. He is in the last month of his one year deal he signed last June, with a $3.5 million cap hit.
Let's see if both camps can agree on an extension, if not he could once again be the coveted trade bait, as teams like the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and possibly the Winnipeg Jets are looking to boost their back end.