Erik Gudbranson - Vancouver Canuck - 2016-2019
It is with:
- a happy heart
- a heavy heart
that we announce GMJB has traded much:
Guddy to the Pens for Tanner Pearson.
It’s shocking that a career -97 NHL defenceman would be traded out when the best Nucks D is playing for the Faeries. Or is it?
Who alone can say? (Other than Forty or 83 or everyone)
That’s why we’ve assembled the NM Round Table of Hungover Pundits. To pay tribute (or not) to what Guddy meant to the Nucks. And more importantly what he meant to NM Game Threads.
Plus/minus is a stat that is deemed both inaccurate and misleading by a lot of people who follow the analytical side of the game. There are times though that it tells you everything you need to know about a player. Therefore in this er... tribute to Eric Gudbranson I will present you with 2 numbers: -49 and -48. The first number is Guddy’s accumulated +/- after 5 years as a Florida Panther. The -48? That’s his +/- with the Canucks, and that’s in just under 3 years, coming one year after a 3 year contract extension. While this is very much a great day for the Canucks moving forward and improving their defence by ridding themselves of the guy who by pretty much every measurable stat was the worst defender in the NHL, it should also be a condemnation of Jim Benning. He traded away a future asset in Jared McCann for a guy who was insanely overrated. And then after showing us how bad he was at the job of NHL defenceman was given a terrible (for the team) extension because he fights every so often and is ‘good in the room’ and ‘handsome’ (we’re just assuming the last one had to be part of it because it’s as ridiculous as the deal itself). There’s a lot of things to like about Erik Gudbranson. He’s a smart guy, good in the community and he embraced this, something that is a huge part of this organization. At the end of the day, this team could not risk spinning their wheels with Gudbranson any longer. So there’s no real moment of Gud-ness that sticks out for me except for this one, for it was the day that hope returned to the Canucks.
My first Nucky memory of Guds was the 2017 Exhibition Series in China. He was featured in a Nucks PR vid shopping for a grotesque dragon jacket. It was then I knew Guddy was a fashion horse. That chose pro hockey to support his fashion habit.
Through the long years of his tenure as the Canucks Fightin’ Fashionista I came to appreciate what he brought to NM game threads and recaps. In his first season he only brought cake and cookies to the Faeries. And probably a closet full of fashion tips.
Last season and this, I realised he wasn’t just game thread fashion fodder, but had carved out a niche in fan hearts with a rusty spoon as the 2nd worst D-man in the league. While he had the size, the looks, the hits, the mean streak, appeared he didn’t have the HIQ to process the game at speed.
I will always appreciate his special contribution to NM Game Recaps. A small sample from this season:
ARI 4 VAN 3 - Jan 10/19:
“Guds is wandering something that we dare not wonder about. “ - Yotes score.
Canes 5-2 win - Jan 23/19:
“Instead of getting the powerplay, Guddy chases Svechnikov all the way down the ice. Wants to drop the mitts, the gloves and most of all, drop Svechnikov. Instead the refs drop Guddy from the game. It’s another Game MISCONDUCT! Yay!”
Caps 3-2 win - Feb 5/19:
“...Anyhow besides making one of our tough gritty players tear up a little, the Caps were making the game thread shed tears as DC tore up the Nucks newly formed D-corp.
Exhibit A: Tanev in Eddie’s slot isn’t a good fit.
Exhibit B: Guddy in Guddy’s place is not a good fit either.
A and B result in Exhibit C: First Caps goal. “
Nucks Beat Panthers 5-1 - Jan 13/19:
“Guds (staged) fighting for honour against the Panthers (Matheson-proxy fight)”
“...Guds, the 2nd worst defenceman in the league seeks to redeem the team’s honour against the worst defenceman in the league. And does. Directly. In an indirect way.”
Sharks 7 Nucks 2 - Feb 11/19:
“....Thanks to Guddy and the puck-gazers.” - Sharks score.
ARI 3 Nucks 2 Feb 21/19:
“...Instead, the Nucks get outworked for seemingly the 100th time in the period. Unsurprisingly, Guddy loses the puck battle behind the net.” - Yotes score.
So...it appears that the Guddy was the perfect fit for our struggling D-corps. Oh well...Poolie is going to have to cover for him in the game threads and recaps until the end of the season. Maybe JB can re-sign Sibisa in the off-season to the keep the game threads cursing.
So long, Guddy, want to say we’ll miss you. And will. On NHL Staged Fight Nights. Hope you have better shopping in front of the fashion nets of Pittsburgh.
If Guds turns into the player wanted when he gets to Pittsburgh, then I begin the #fireGreen chants. In the end though, Guds was never the player we thought we were getting in the trade with Florida....he was underwhelming. It took Guds to make people wish for Biega.
Let the Guds-less era begin....or had it already when he was playing?
Wow Jimmi, what a loaded question there...what did Gudbranson mean to the Canucks? For one, having Guddy donning the blue and green meant that the Canucks were going to get AHL-calibre defending every shift that he was on the ice for.
This ode to Guddy brings me back to a low-point in the Canucks history. Back in 2016, the Canucks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on the road. Why is that a low point, you might ask? Well, Gudbranson scored his first goal as a Canuck that night, while Jack Skille and Jayson Megna potted two goals as well. Despite the win, it was a low point to see those three leading the charge, because it indicated just how bad the rest of the team really was. Gudbranson’s goal was garbage too, as his blistering slap shot missed the net, before bouncing in off of Ben Bishop’s skate.
When the trade for Gudbranson initially went down, I compared him to Sbisa and got ripped for it. I understand why now....that probably wasn’t a fair comparison to Sbisa.
I also predicted that the Canucks would never make the playoffs with Gudbranson and Brandon Sutter on the team. I guess that curse has been (partially) lifted as well.
“What did Erik Gudbranson mean to the Canucks?” and “What did Erik Gudbranson represent to the Canucks?” are two VERY different questions. What the Gudbranson acquisition represented to Canucks management and to Canucks fans was stability. The Gudbranson acquisition, along the acquisition of Brandon Sutter was meant to signal to the NHL and to the Canucks fanbase that the team wasn’t going to go into this whole media and fan induced “rebuild” in a traditional way. No, no... you see Benning and Linden had designs on turning this team around FAST and they’d need “foundational” guys like Gudbranson and Sutter around for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In the end, Gudbranson played exactly zero playoff games as a member of the Vancouver Canucks and... well let’s just say that things aren’t trending in the right direction for Sutter either. With today’s trade, we can now conclusively call the Gudbranson trade a massive failure. Even if Jared McCann, the prospect traded for Gudbranson, hasn’t panned out as expected, you have to imagine that he’d still have a roster spot on this current Canucks squad. Gudbranson... he couldn’t even move up into the Canucks’ top four with Chris Tanev and Alex Edler on the IR. In other words: He bad.
The Gudbranson acquisition represented Benning and Linden’s obsession with culture and character. He was a player that was counted on to provide toughness, grit and accountability. You can argue that he provided those things... but you can also argue that he didn’t provide much else.
What Gudbranson actually meant to the Canucks is difficult to put into words. I could drum up the “intangibles” argument and point to the half dozen times or so that Gudbranson actually stepped up to provide leadership or assert himself on the ice, but we ALL know that Gudbranson’s net effect on this team was negative and not positive.
Gudbranson’s tenure with the Canucks wasn’t all bad though... there was that time he looked pretty fly in a Chinese suit jacket...
Now What? More importantly... did we still win the Jared McCann trade?
And the mostest of importance - how do you feel about trading Guddy?
Trading Guddy for Pearson is:
This poll is closed
Best JB Trade yet
Sad. Now I have to check the Pens site for $5000 dress suit tips