January 30, 2018 | 9:58pm ET
TheFourthPeriod.com

CANUCKS PREFER TO RE-SIGN GUDBRANSON?

 
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Jim Benning, GM

 

The initial belief surrounding the future of veteran defenceman Erik Gudbranson was the Vancouver Canucks were set on trading him prior to the Feb. 26 trade deadline. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

During Tuesday night’s “Insider Trading” segment on TSN, Bob McKenzie reported the Canucks would like to sign Gudbranson to an extension, and failing to do so would ultimately resort in a move.

Gudbranson, 26, is in the final-year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The Canucks haven’t had specific contract talks with Gudbranson’s camp just yet, according to McKenzie, but those are expected to begin in the next week or two. If a multi-year contract extension cannot get ironed out, Canucks GM Jim Benning will trade him by the deadline.

Gudbranson has attracted the interest of a number of teams already and doesn’t have a significantly huge salary cap hit to tag along with him at $3.5 million. Moving the rearguard will likely result in two draft picks coming back Vancouver’s way.

In 32 games with the Canucks so far this season, Gudbranson has picked up one goal, two assists an 31 penalty minutes.

Gudbranson currently ranks among those on TFP's Top 30 Available Players List.