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Panthers deal Erik Gudbranson to Vancouver for Jared McCann

The Florida Panthers traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson and a 2016 fifth-round draft pick to the Vancouver Canucks for young forward Jared McCann, a 2016 second-round pick and 2016 fourth-round pick. 

On May 9, the Panthers re-signed the 24-year-old Gudbranson to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

Gudbranson was considered captain material for the team, and the Panthers were reportedly going to talk with him about another extension after January 1 of next year.

"He is an important part of our young core who has continued to develop into a reliable, physical presence on our blue line and a strong leader in our locker room," team president Dale Tallon said after Florida re-signed Gudbranson.

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It’s unclear how and why the Panthers decided to change direction with the hulking 6-foot-4 blueliner. Since the team re-signed Gudbranson the organization has shifted their structure towards a more analytical focus. The Panthers said Tallon still has final call on moves. The release by the team for the trade listed Tallon as the exec who announced the move. 

Staying healthy has been an issue with the 6-foot-4 Gudbranson. This past year he missed eight games with an undisclosed issue, seven games with a lower body injury and then three games with an upper body injury. Gudbranson has never played more than 76 games in a season.

This past year, Gudbranson held a minus-3.8 CF% Rel according to War on Ice. 

A lot of the Panthers’ young core is expected to get raises in the near future, which could have been a reason why the team dealt Gudbranson, who may make a decent amount of money in his next deal for not a lot of production. This past year he had nine points in 64 games played.

McCann was picked 24th overall by the Canucks in the 2014 NHL Draft and played 69 games as a rookie last year. He scored nine goals and added nine assists in 69 games played. According to War on Ice, McCann had a plus-0.57 CF% Rel 5-on-5 and a 47.51 overall CF%.

The trade gives some size, snarl and leadership to the Canucks’ blueline, but at the expense of a prospect they had touted highly and hoped would develop into a scorer.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

 

 

 

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