Friday, December 2, 2016

Erik Gudbranson: Two Autographed Cards


I reported last June that Erik Gudbranson had been called "captain material" by the Florida Panthers when they signed him to his current contract, just weeks before trading him to the Vancouver Canucks in a complete overhaul of the team's defense.

Well, Gudbranson did something un-captainlike last night when he was heard saying "Matt Martin is fucking dead" following a rough-and-tumble game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

After growing up with the Cats and helping them reach their best regular-season finish ever, Gudbranson landed in Vancouver, where the team is expected to challenge the Arizona Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes for last place, which must be a morale-breaker. On the flipside, missing the playoffs and playing for a Canadian team might earn him an invitation to the World Championships, where he would suit up for Team Canada for the third time, after winning gold at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and silver at the 2011 World Juniors.

Here are a couple of cards he signed a little over a year ago, while a member of the Panthers, wearing their white (away) 20th anniversary uniform, first on card #81 from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Series 1 set:
And now on card #254 from UD's 2014-15 O-Pee-Chee collection:
He signed both in blue sharpie and spoke to me in French, as he'd heard me speak to a friend and was polite enough to show his bilingual skills, hailing from Orléans, Ontario, a bilingual town I stayed in a couple of weeks ago as I played shows around Ottawa and caught two Sens games (and a Santa Claus parade) while I was at it.

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