The Roundup

Nation World HQ
December 23 2016 05:00AM

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Is JVR on the move in Toronto, Brandon Sutter is the teams 4th best center in Van, Jets bracing for expansion, are the Flames really for real, it's time to breakup McDavid and Lucic, the NHL needs to wake up, travel fatigue is truly a thing, early 2017 draft rankings and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.

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Should the Canucks Extend Erik Gudbranson's Contract?

J.D. Burke
December 22 2016 03:20PM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

The Canucks didn't finish paying for Erik Gudbranson when they spent Jared McCann and a pair of picks to land the rugged blue liner from the Florida Panthers. Cap space is an asset, and the Canucks are a week away from the door opening to lay the ground work for how much they'll invest in their prized defenceman.

Gudbranson, playing on a one-year deal valued at $3.5-million, is a restricted free agent at season's end. The Canucks, though, can't begin contract negotiations until the turn of the calendar year.

If the Panthers failed attempts to lock up Gudbranson are any indication, he's not coming cheap either. Gudbranson reportedly turned down a four-year offer valued at $4-million per season before being dealt. Everything we've heard since indicates he's looking to secure something north of the $5-million mark annually on a long-term deal.

That's a tall ask for a player who's never crested 15 points. Then again, Gudbranson's game is predicated on strong play away from the puck. He's a defensive defenceman first and foremost, so we should view him primarily through that lens. With that, let's dive into Gudbranson's career, what we should expect and whether that's worth anywhere near what he's asking.

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NHLNotebook: A rough night in Glendale, Patrik Laine is awesome and #CunnyCan!

Zach Laing
December 22 2016 02:17PM

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The NHLN Notebook is a semi-regular feature of interesting hockey content from the past few days that doesn't quite deserve its own article. 

Today's NHLNotebook covers a rough night in Glendale that saw 81 PIMS, Patrik Laine being Patrik Laine and the amazing story of Craig Cunningham. 

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Consolidated 2017 Draft Rankings: December

Jeremy Davis
December 22 2016 01:00PM

The 2017 NHL Entry draft is still a little over six months away, but for some teams' fanbases (including that of the Vancouver Canucks), the draft can't come soon enough.

In the interest of being overprepared, I've put together a consolidated draft rankings, in the vein of what Tom Hunter and Jon Steitzer did for The Leafs Nation last year (and Tom is continuing to do this year at the Bloggers Tribune). Now we can get a nice early glimpse at who's projected to go at the top of the draft and throughout the first round, and by continuing to follow the ranks each month, we can get a good idea of whose stock is rising and falling.

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Does James van Riemsdyk make sense for the Leafs in the long term?

Ryan Fancey
December 22 2016 12:21PM

With plenty of trade talk swirling around James van Riemsdyk in the last week or so, of course there's going to be an emerging debate over whether it's the right thing to do, under the usual disclaimer that anyone is worth trading for the right return. But some of the speculation out there has caused its fair share of worry, with the Kessel trade being cited as a potential comparison, or even the Hall-for-Larsson deal most recently. I've also seen a potential JVR-for-Josh Manson swap floated out there plenty. 

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