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Florida Panthers trade D Erik Gudbranson to Vancouver for F Jared McCann; multiple picks involved

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Long-heralded "future captain" - and the first of now-former GM Dale Tallon's Florida selections - sent to the 'Nucks for prime prospect and picks

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Was it Dale Tallon (six-year GM and newly-minted President of Hockey Ops) or Tom Rowe (newly-minted General Manager) who pulled the trigger? That's the question many will be asking every time a deal is announced by the club. Because, well, "It's Dale's team", as we've been told by the latter. But who cares at this point, now that the on-ice business of hockey has resumed at One Panther Parkway.

In case you've somehow avoided a slavish but somehow fulfilling attachment to Twitter here's the dope: Florida traded 24 year-old defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, with forward Jared McCann, 20, coming to Sunrise. McCann is a natural center, so let's get that potential messy point out of the way early.

In addition, the Cats will receive Vancouver's second (33rd overall) and fourth-round (93rd) selections in 2016, which give Florida a big boost after having only five picks in seven rounds prior to this deal. The Panthers surrendered a fifth-round pick along with Gudbranson, long considered a future captain by management. Namely Tallon, and no reason to not believe Dale as once you've heard "Guds" speak, it's an easy sell. He's got the goods in the room and smashes opponents around the net with ferocity. Going Old School, the Cats are now in need of a highly-physical shutdown D-man, which has been Gudbranson's forte since the beginning.

But he unsurprisingly never scored with regularity on a team which really - badly - needs goals. He wasn't drafted to fill that role, and was never projected for it. Rookie blueliner Michael Matheson, 22, is indeed expected to hit the scoresheet a bit more often, perhaps a lot more often, as his stock has continued to rise in a short spell.

Word on the street has veteran Brian Campbell going the UFA route (at 37) and captain Willie Mitchell retiring due to concussion issues. Losing Gudbranson is a problem considering the team will likely be subtracting three mainstays, but honestly, Soup was always a year-to-year candidate, Mitch's on-ice fall was no surprise following his injuries, and something had to give among the D class.

Guds is one year away from a substantial raise in pay (RFA in 2017-18). The Panthers decided his role could be replaced for less than what the market will set. We'll see how it works out, but I'm hopeful for both parties.

Lost in all of this is what impact Jared McCann may have with Florida in the short term. Elite Prospects is pretty high on this kid, and they aren't alone if you've spent more than a minute on social media tonight.

But yeah, though I'm personally fine with the deal, I certainly wasn't expecting this. Gotta reshape the expectations going forward.

From the teams:

(VANCOUVER)  Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has acquired defenceman Erik Gudbranson and Florida’s 2016 fifth round pick (NYI) in exchange for Jared McCann and the Canucks 2016 second and fourth round picks.

Gudbranson, 24, spent the 2015.16 season with the Florida Panthers, collecting nine points (2-7-9) and 49 penalty minutes in 64 games. He also appeared in six playoff games. The Ottawa, Ontario native ranked third on the Panthers in hits (150), fourth in blocked shots (73) and fourth in average ice time per game (20:06). The 2010 3rd overall NHL draft pick ranked second on the Panthers and led Florida defencemen in average ice time in the 2016 playoffs (26:54) in addition to ranking second on the team in blocked shots (8).

The 6’5”, 216-pound defenceman has collected 43 points (11-32-43) in 309 NHL regular season games over the span of five seasons with the Panthers.

On the international stage, Gudbranson earned a silver medal as a member of Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championships. He also won gold at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in 2009.

***

(FLORIDA)  Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations Dale Tallon announced today that the Panthers have acquired forward Jared McCann, a 2016 second round draft pick (33rd overall) and a 2016 fourth round draft pick (93rd overall) from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defensemen Erik Gudbranson and a 2016 fifth round draft pick (acquired from the New York Islanders).

The 19-year-old McCann was selected by the Canucks in the first round (24th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft. The 6-foot, 180-pound native of Stratford, Ontario played in 69 games with Vancouver this season recording 9-9-18.