Gudbranson reportedly turned down significant offer before being traded.

This could explain the motivation behind the trade.

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We may now know the motivating factor behind the trade that saw young defenseman Erik Gudbranson get dealt from the Florida Panthers to the Vancouver Canucks.The move came off as a curious one primarily because young NHL defensemen are rarely traded, especially when the team has a few more years of control through restricted free agency as was the case with Gudbranson, 

According to a report from George Richards of the Miami Herald the Panthers made Gudbranson a significant offer, one they hoped would buy them a few more years of control beyond his RFA status, but Gudbranson turned it down, eventually signing the $3.5 million dollar one-year bridge deal he is currently under.

The offer was reportedly a four year deal that would have paid Gudbranson $4.5 million per season, and clearly by rejecting the offer he believes he will be able to earn more eventually as a unrestricted free agent, something that the Vancouver Canucks should take note of as Gudbranson will once again be an RFA at the end of next season when his current deal expires.