Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Erik Gudbranson Signed Cloth Card

All summer long, NHL bloggers and pundits were blaming the Pittsburgh Penguins' salary cap woes on Erik Gudbranson's contract, attacking his salary and every team that's ever given him north of $3M per season, but the truth of the matter is that so far, he's been the most solid defender on their blue line - still playing below 50% in "possession" stats, but far better than the rest of his teammates, including one I predicted a Norris Trophy to, Kris Letang.

I'll give the point to those who say a third-overall pick position may have been high for a defensively-minded, robust leader - all things that range between "intangible" and "not worth their weight in statistics" by proponents of pretend-analytics hockey, but there is such a thing as locker room chemistry, and having someone like Gudbranson on your team is better than not having him, for starters, and even more so when he proves to be more dependable than what you've already got.

And so I'll never regret trading a couple of Titanium/Game-Worn Gear cards for this great-looking Phenoms signed cloth card showing him wearing the best Florida Panthers logo - the third from the turn of the millennium:
It's #233 (and numbered 178/299) in Panini's 2011-12 Limited set.

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