Erik Gudbranson traded to Canucks from Panthers

Hockey trades in May!

The Florida Panthers have traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Vancouver Canucks along with a 2016 fifth-round pick. Heading back to the Panthers in the deal are forward Jared McCann, a 2016 second-round pick and a 2016 fourth-round pick.

Gudbranson is the biggest name in the deal, having spent his first five NHL seasons with the Panthers. In 309 games, he has just 43 points but averaged nearly 18 minutes of ice time per game. In 2015-16, he took on an even bigger role with the Panthers, averaging over 20 minutes of ice time.

The big piece going back to Florida, McCann, was a first-round pick of Vancouver in 2014. He played in 69 games with the Canucks last season, scoring just 18 points but showing potential to be a top six forward down the line.

The Panthers have been in flux in the front office, and now changes on the ice are starting after a disappointing first-round exit at the hands of the New York Islanders. The Panthers will have Stanley Cup aspirations after taking home the Atlantic Division crown in 2015-16, and this move could be the start of many more.

For the Canucks, it’s a continuing of a retooling (rebuilding) process that the team hopes will lead them to the postseason sooner rather than later. After all, the Sedins aren’t getting any younger.