The Calgary Flames added to their blueline on Friday, signing Erik Gudbranson to a one-year, $1.95 million deal, while also re-signing Michael Stone to a one-year deal worth $750,000.
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Gudbranson, 29, began the 2020-21 season with the Ottawa Senators before being traded to the Nashville Predators. In a combined 45 regular-season games he scored one goal and four points. He also suited up in two playoff contests but was held off the scoresheet.
While he never turned into the player many had hoped, Gudbranson was once a highly touted prospect and was taken third overall in the 2010 draft by the Florida Panthers. Though his role has changed since arriving in the NHL, he has carved out a decent career for himself. He has suited up for 563 games in stints with the Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, Senators, and the Preds. In those 563 games, he has 21 goals and 77 points along with 640 penalty minutes.
Stone, 31, is a player who is very familiar with the Flames organization, having been with them since the 2016-17 season. While he isn’t going to be a difference-maker, he was reliable when called upon last season and has never made a fuss during his time in Calgary when being a healthy scratch. Both he and Gudbranson will give the Flames nice depth options on the third pairing.
These signings could be bad news for younger players like Oliver Kylington and Connor Mackey, who were both re-signed this offseason and were hoping to become NHL regulars in 2020-21. Given the fact that both Stone and Gudbranson were given contracts rather than just PTOs, it shows that the organization doesn’t have a ton of confidence in either of their young blueliners.
While neither of these were bad signings, it’s a continuing trend for the Flames in the direction of mediocrity. Many fans were hoping this offseason general manager Brad Treliving would change things up and try to land a big piece, perhaps even Jack Eichel. However, he appears set to once again run things back with a roster that doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.
Next: Parise Officially Signs With New York Islanders, Talks Leaving Wild
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