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Canucks sign Brandon Sutter to 5-year contract extension

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Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Whatever Vancouver's plans for the future are, they appear to include Brandon Sutter. On Tuesday, the Canucks announced they had signed the two-way center to a 5-year contract extension with an average value of $4.375 million.

The Canucks acquired Sutter, along with a third round draft pick, in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 28. In exchange for Sutter and the draft pick, the Canucks sent Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and a second round draft pick to Pittsburgh.

Last year in 80 games with the Penguins, Sutter scored 21 goals along with 12 assists. His 21 goals tied a career-high and his 33 points were the second-highest total of his career. Last year was his most productive season since the 2009-10 campaign with the Carolina Hurricanes when he scored 21 goals along with 19 assists.

When the Canucks acquired Sutter, Jim Benning called the forward a "foundation piece" for the Canucks moving forward as they build towards the future. This gives the Canucks a solid option at the center position, and takes a little bit of pressure off Bo Horvat, who appears to be a potential future face of the franchise.

Sutter is expected to slot in on the second line at center, a position held formerly by one of the pieces of the trade, Nick Bonino. At the start of the season, Bonino looked as if he was going to be one of the more pleasant surprises, but his production fizzled out over time. Now, the Canucks are hoping Sutter can provide a spark on Vancouver's second line.

But is the contract worth Sutter's production?

This could be a classic example of another player getting overpaid for minimal production. But of course, we have no idea how this deal will really look until we see him on the ice in Vancouver this season. If Sutter can tally at least 20 goals, maybe provide some much needed help to the second power play unit, he could be a valuable asset for the Canucks going forward.