Friday, October 25, 2019

NHL Trade Review: Ducks acquire Gudbranson

         The Anaheim Ducks have acquired defenseman Erik Gudbranson from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Andreas Martinsen and a 2021 7th round pick.

         The Ducks could use a defenseman. Besides Josh Manson, they didn't have any right handed shot defenseman with 100 games played since the start of the 2016-17 season. However, Gudbranson isn't much of an impact player. Including 2019-20, he has two years left on his contract with a $4 million cap hit. Gudbranson is a physical defenseman, but he doesn't have much appeal besides that. He is still an upgrade for the Ducks, who are seeking defensive help. They recently signed Luca Sbisa, but he was claimed off waivers immediately.

          Gudbranson, 27, has no points in seven games this season. In his NHL career for the Penguins, Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers, the former 3rd overall pick has 16 goals with 48 assists for 64 points in 474 games.

           The Penguins need cap room. They were shopping bottom pairing defensemen Gudbranson and Jack Johnson, who are both overpaid. They had come close to some trades including Johnson, but they haven't completed any yet. Martinsen is a depth forward with some NHL experience. The Penguins badly need forwards with Alex Galchenyuk, Nick Bjugstad, Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin on IR, the latter two being on LTIR.

           Martinsen, 29, scored one goal with three assists for four points in 24 games for the Blackhawks in 2018-19. In his NHL career for the Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, Martinsen has scored nine goals with 14 assists for 23 points in 152 games.

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