December 29, 2017 | 11:58am ET
TheFourthPeriod.com

CANUCKS EXPLORING GUDBRANSON TRADE OPTIONS

 
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Erik Gudbranson, defenceman

 

The Vancouver Canucks are taking calls on defenceman Erik Gudbranson, whom many around the NHL believe will be moved by the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

Gudbranson, who turns 26 on Jan. 7, is making $3.5 million this season and can become an unrestricted free agent this coming summer.

With the emergence of Vancouver’s young defenceman, Gudbranson seems to be the odd man out. The Canucks and Gudbranson have not conducted significant contract talks, according to reports, and the writing may be on the wall for the former third-overall draft pick.

“Everybody else is more concerned about it than I am,” Gudbranson told Sportsnet.ca this week. “I’d be lying to you if I told you it hasn’t crossed my mind. Everybody thinks about their future. Everybody does. To a certain extent in our business, it’s out of your hands (so) I try not to think about it.”

Canucks GM Jim Benning has held discussions with some of his counterparts about Gudbranson, though it’s unclear which teams have directly spoken with the Canucks about the defenceman.

Several teams are looking to bolster their blueline, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks.