The Canucks today announced the extension to hulking and slow blueliner Erik Gudbranson. The extension is for 3 years at an AAV of $4 million dollars a season. An extremely high price to pay for a defenseman who, on any half decent team, is a bottom pair guy at best.
With this move, newly extended Jim Benning has announced that he is continuing to ignore that the NHL has become a speed and skill league and that he still values a model that has shown to be completely ineffective and outdated.
Since acquiring Gudbranson, he has been injury plagued and, while healthy, extremely ineffective spending far more time in his own zone than out of it. He is unable to drive play in any way as demonstrated by his advanced possession stats. Over three years his corsi for is a miserable 40.77% and his Fenwick score is an equally awful 40.27%.
With other teams asking insane prices for any pieces of value, this was an opportunity for any smart manager to swoop in and sell off at a somewhat reduced rate in comparison. With the other prices so high it is likely you would receive above average compensation for such a low value asset.
Fans in Vancouver should buckle up. Without a miracle draft lottery win, they can expect to suffer for many more years. They have some good pieces up front and a potential franchise goaltender in the wings, but they have wasted years spinning their wheels trying to “rebuild on the fly” with the current incompetent management at the helm. This has resulted in an old slow team with little or no hope developing on the back end.