The Vancouver Canucks have a long way to go if they want to regain any semblance of being a true contender in the National Hockey League, but they are hoping that a new pairing on defense will help shore up at least one of their issues.
The Canucks have placed defenseman Ben Hutton alongside the recently acquired Erik Gudbranson in training camp, a move the Canucks claim was designed from the moment they made the trade, and the two men have quickly formed a partnership that appears to be working for both of them.
"I want to get his feet moving and hit him in stride and get him up the ice with the puck as soon as possible. I think we’re going to be a good partnership, Gudbranson said of his paring with Huttonas per the Vancouver Province. We’re both on the same page. We’re both excited to play with each other and grow as a unit.”
The two men have a history, Hutton fondly remembers how Gudbranson was kind enough to show him the ropes when they attended a junior camp together several years ago.
“I was just a quiet, young guy and he was showing me the ropes,” Hutton said of his 48 hours in the Kingston Frontenacs’ junior training camp. “That was cool. That was just something that stuck in the back of my mind as soon as he got traded. Like: ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve played with him before. That’s sweet. Maybe he’ll remember me.’”
The Canucks are putting a lot of faith in both men to anchor their top four, but it sounds like they are on the right track.