The first three months of the 2017-18 season may very well determine Erik Gudbranson's future with the Vancouver Canucks.
If he plays well, a long-term contract extension could be signed early in the new year.

If, on the other hand, he doesn't play well, Canucks management could be facing another P.R. nightmare.

To refresh your memory, Gudbranson was acquired by the Canucks in the summer of 2016 in a trade that sent prospect Jared McCann and a second-round draft pick to Florida. At the time, general manager Jim Benning felt it was a clear win, that in spite of the high price, the Canucks had landed a top-four defenceman that would be in Vancouver for the next decade.

But Gudbranson, 25, struggled in his first few months with the Canucks, lending credence to the analytics folks who said he was nothing more than a third-pairing defenceman. When wrist surgery ended his season in December, the Canucks couldn't say for sure what they actually had.
Ultimately, the team decided...