Gudbranson Traded To The Sens

Photo: NBC Sports Washington

By Richard Gonzalez

The NHL free agency opens tomorrow (10/09), and we have seen teams make cap clearing deals and various players set to test the open market. The Anaheim Ducks decided to clear some cap space and traded defensemen Erik Gudbranson to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round draft pick. Gudbranson and his $4 million will come off the Ducks books.

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“For us, this was about having additional financial flexibility going forward. We will continue to aggressively look at ways to improve our team, both in the short and long term,” Ducks GM Bob Murray said via Eric Stephens of The Athletic.

The Ducks acquired Gudbranson on Oct. 25, 2019, that sent Andreas Martinsen and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In one season with the Ducks, Gudbranson played in 44 games with the Ducks and scored nine points (four goals and five assists). He was also credited with 56 blocks and 76 hits.

“Erik Gudbranson provides another sizable presence to our defense corps,” said Senators general manager Pierre Doiron. “He’s a reliable veteran who plays an intimidating style of game and someone who will add a combination of grit, energy and, most importantly, leadership to our lineup,” via the Senators media page.

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I think this is a good deal for both teams and Gudbranson. The Ducks get some cap space, the Senators get an experienced physical defenseman and Gudbranson gets to play in hometown. I will always remember Gudbranson for getting some ice justice on Garnet Hathaway for the spitting incident.

The Ducks have been desperately searching for a right-handed defenseman. Murray attempted to acquire Justin Faulk, who was traded to the St. Louis Blues, and Kevin Shattenkirk, who ended up signing a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tyson Barrie’s name has surfaced to the on the Ducks radar too. Shattenkirk has a desire to stay in Tampa, but with the flat cap, it is nearly impossible they could afford to re-sign him.

Barrie is coming off an up and down year with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He never regained the form as he had with the Colorado Avalanche. However, he is an offensive defenseman who can quarterback a power play and boost offensive production for the Ducks. At 29-years-old, there are plenty of years of productive hockey left.

The only question is, are the mention players going to have an interest in playing for a “re-tooling” team?

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October 8th, 2020


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