Canucks sign Erik Gudbranson to 3-year, $12 million extension

Defenseman Erik Gudbranson has signed a three-year, $12 million contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks, ending the speculation over his status at the NHL trade deadline.

Gudbranson, 26, has two goals and two assists in 41 games with Vancouver this season, a campaign that saw him miss time with injuries. In 380 career NHL games over seven seasons, Gudbranson has collected 53 points along with 397 penalty minutes.

Known for his size and physical play, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Gudbranson was one of Vancouver general manager Jim Benning's most significant acquisitions. Benning traded forward Jared McCann and second- and fourth-round picks to the Florida Panthers for Gudbranson and a fifth-rounder in May 2016.

Since that trade, Gudbranson has appeared in just 71 of a possible 141 games for the Canucks. When he has played, he has had a negative impact on his team statistically, including a minus-4.91 corsi-for possession rating in comparison to his teammates this season.

"Erik is an important part of our team and provides a physical element to our blueline," Benning said Tuesday in a news release. "His leadership qualities help us as we continue to integrate younger players in our lineup. He is a quality person, a great teammate, outstanding in the community and we are excited to have him as part of our team moving forward."

According to TSN, Gudbranson will be paid $4.4 million next season, $4.6 million in 2019-20 and then $3 million in 2020-21. That's an annual value of $4 million against the cap; there's also no trade protection on the deal, meaning that he would be an attractive trade option once that salary dips in the final season.