With the Vancouver Canucks continuing to slide in the standings and with the NHL’s February 26th trade deadline on the horizon, trade speculation continues to surround the franchise. Canucks GM Jim Benning has been mostly silent on his team’s plans this season, but most analysts expect that Benning is taking offers on rugged defenceman Erik Gudbranson and veteran forward Thomas Vanek.
The sticking point, as with any trade, comes down to the asking price. If Benning can’t get a worthwhile return for his players, he’ll likely stand pat. So, what’s the ask?
According to TVA reporter and NHL insider Renaud Lavoie, the asking price on Gudbranson is a high draft pick and/or a pick and a prospect.
Check it out:
Wow… that’s intriguing. Gudbranson has had a tough time fitting in with the Canucks since being acquired from the Florida Panthers in the summer of 2016. This season, the 26-year-old blue liner has mostly seen third pairing duty alongside Ben Hutton. If Benning an manage to extract a 1st round pick for Gudbranson, he should take it and run.
What do you think? Is Gudbranson worth a 1st round pick? If Benning can’t get the price he wants for Gudbranson on the trade market, would you welcome him back onto the team next season? The pending UFA needs a new deal and is likely seeking something with longer term than the Canucks are willing to provide.
Whatever happens between now and the deadline, it’s hard to imagine Gudbranson back with the Canucks past this season. But then again… this is the Canucks we’re talking about. You just never know.