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Penguins Trade Gudbranson, Loosen Logjam On Defense



Erik Gudbranson Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Speculation
Erik Gudbranson

In what might be a case of addition by subtraction – or maybe attrition by subtraction – the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Anaheim Ducks in return for forward Andreas Martinsen and a 2021 seventh-round draft pick.

The Penguins, by all accounts, have considered trading or tried to trade a defenseman for some time. Even with Brian Dumoulin out right now because of injury, the team was carrying eight healthy defensemen before moving Gudbranson, who carried a $4 million salary cap hit for this and next season. This move alleviates a glut of defensemen and opens some salary cap space.

Juuso Riikola has been used as a fill-in at winger, and Chad Ruhwedel hasn’t sniffed a game.

Martinsen, 29, seems to be more of a depth acquisition. He is signed through the end of this season for $750,000 at the NHL level, but he is beginning his stint with the Penguins organization with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

Martinsen has played in 152 NHL games among three clubs, with nine goals, 23 points. He had not played any games for the Ducks.

The native of Norway was not drafted and played in the German DEL before coming to North America.

Gudbransen, 27, was the Penguins’ most physical defenseman. He has no points, four penalty minutes in seven games this season. But he and Jack Johnson had been essentially rotating in and out of the lineup. The Penguins also seem happy with the performance of rookie John Marino. who has played in nine games.



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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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2 years ago

Obviously a trade was needed. However, 44 was the only Pen to offer push back against the heavy teams with players such as Tom Wilson. There is a difference between the toughness of taking the borderline hit vs the player who can exact on ice justice when required. No reason to cue the fighting is down in NHL as we know what the response will be when Wilson cheap shots a Pen. I was hoping 3 would have been dealt instead of 44. Go Pens!

Edgar Brewer
Edgar Brewer
2 years ago

Now another defender or two will get injured–and yes a goon like Wilson will take a run at a star–and no one on the roster will be able to exact revenge. Also does this essentially mean we traded Hagelin for an AHL player and a 7th round pick. Yikes. As if that wasn’t bad enough for JR Haggy now plays for Caps.

iron head
iron head
2 years ago

Pens will miss gudbranson… the likes of wilson knew when he was in the lineup ! 44 would be coming to settle if they pulled any dirty shenanigans on the boys

2 years ago

I really don’t like the trade. Gudbranson was a physical presence and could exact justice to Tom Wilson and the other physical players. No doubt he was overpaid for his production. They were better off trading Malkin and Letang opening big time cap space and getting young talented prospects in return. They have been doing this cap dance for 3 years or so now. It places young players and vets on eggshells. Who will be traded next? I could see GMJR utilizing a Presto Magic trying to create his ideal lineups. This Alex Galchenyuk has already missed more games than… Read more »

2 years ago

I don’t get all this hand-wringing over losing Gudbranson; we’ve got Sid, he’ll fight anybody. Besides, Wilson’s skating on borrowed time. Karma awaits.

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