Skip to content

Gudbranson (orbital bone) has ‘played poorly since he’s had that cage on,’ so Florida healthy scratched him

Jan 27, 2014, 11:01 AM EST

Gudbranson Getty Images

Panthers d-man Erik Gudbranson played with a full face cage for nine games since undergoing orbital bone surgery in December, and head coach Peter Horachek saw enough to keep Gudbranson from dressing in No. 10.

On Sunday, Horachek made his prized young blueliner a healthy scratch for a 5-4 shootout win over Detroit, explaining that Gudbranson’s play has gone downhill since donning the protective gear.

“The bottom line is he really hasn’t played well,” Horachek said, per the Miami Herald. “He has played poorly since he’s had that cage on.”

The move probably didn’t come as a huge shock given Horachek had trimmed Gudbranson’s minutes in recent games. The 22-year-old rearguard played just 11:15 in last week’s win over Pittsburgh and hasn’t seen more than 16 minutes in any of his last seven games.

Still, the move is curious. Florida’s first-round pick (third overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Gudbranson had seven points in 37 games prior to getting hurt, averaging around 20 minutes a night (he played a season-high 23:29 in a Dec. 3 loss to Ottawa).

Horachek sounded somewhat sympathetic to Gudbranson’s plight — “it’s difficult for a player to wear that cage when he’s not used to it,” he explained — but said that he had to do what was best for the team.

“We’ve been going with six guys, now we have a healthy guy [Dylan Olsen] back,” Horacheck said. “You have to make decisions. He has to learn from it.”
Latest Posts
  1. Flyers deal Coburn to the Lightning for Gudas and picks (Confirmed)

    Mar 2, 2015, 2:15 AM EST

    Braydon Coburn Getty Images

    It’s a first round and third round selection heading to Philly.

  2. Video: Getzlaf, Ducks top Stars

    Mar 2, 2015, 12:30 AM EST

    Ryan Getzlaf Getty Images

    Dallas’ skid reaches six games.

  3. Ladd leads the Jets over the Kings

    Mar 1, 2015, 11:30 PM EST

    Andrew Ladd Getty Images

    Winnipeg moves three points back of Chicago in the Central Division.

  4. Penguins stretch streak to four with win over the Jackets

    Mar 1, 2015, 10:50 PM EST

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    Malkin had a third straight three-point game.

  5. Video: Leafs’ Polak with a dangerous hit on Caps’ Johansson

    Mar 1, 2015, 9:15 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 9.09.20 PM

    The Washington forward remains in the game.

  6. Stars send Cole to the Wings for prospects (Confirmed)

    Mar 1, 2015, 8:00 PM EST

    Florida Panthers v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    Both teams also swapped draft picks in the deal.

  7. Report: Rangers, Zuccarello nearing a four-year deal

    Mar 1, 2015, 7:06 PM EST

    Mats Zuccarello Getty Images

    He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

  8. Video: Jets and Kings get physical in the second

    Mar 1, 2015, 6:35 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 6.18.27 PM

    It started with a Matt Greene hit on Mark Scheifele.

  9. Video: Jackets’ Johansen with an open ice hit on Crosby

    Mar 1, 2015, 6:15 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 6.07.24 PM

    The Pens’ captain was unharmed on the play.

  10. Goalie nods: Ducks give another start to Gibson

    Mar 1, 2015, 3:38 PM EST

    John Gibson AP

    Sunday’s expected starting goalies.

Featured video

Trade deadline storylines to watch
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. H. Lundqvist (2462)
  2. K. Okposo (2399)
  3. N. Horton (2398)
  4. P. Kane (2213)
  5. T. Hall (2213)