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Gudbranson (shoulder) receives medical clearance

Jan 3, 2013, 9:37 AM EDT

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Even if there was no lockout, blueliner Erik Gudbranson wouldn’t have gotten any ice time so far this season due to a shoulder injury he sustained while wakeboarding during the dying days of the off-season.

He needed surgery and was suspended by the Florida Panthers because his injury wasn’t hockey-related.

The good news is that he was recently cleared for contact, accord to the Sun-Sentinel.

That coincides nicely with the progress the NHL and union have made in the ongoing CBA negotiations. The hope is that the two sides will come to an agreement in time for the season to start on Jan. 19.

The CBA negotiations are expected to resume at 10 a.m. ET. Mediators will be present, as they apparently have been all week.

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