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 EDT

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. Video: Lightning-Rangers game gets heated in final minutes

    May 22, 2015, 11:42 PM EDT

    Lightning-Rangers skirmish

    Kucherov, Paquette, and Glass all receive misconduct penalties.

  2. Comeback fit for a King: Lundqvist, Rangers even series in Game 4

    May 22, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The score was one-sided, but this game could have gone the other way if not for the Rangers’ netminder.

  3. Video: Slumping Nash charges hard to net, puts Rangers ahead

    May 22, 2015, 9:04 PM EDT

    Nash goal

    Will we see more goals like that from him before the playoffs are over?

  4. Yzerman, Sather, Murray finalists for GM of the Year

    May 22, 2015, 8:08 PM EDT

    Steve Yzerman AP

    All three of their teams are still in the running for the Stanley Cup.

  5. Lowry emerging as darkhorse candidate for Sharks gig

    May 22, 2015, 7:35 PM EDT

    Dave Lowry Getty Images

    San Jose has been linked to several high profile coaches.

  6. Detroit assistant Hiller to join Babcock in Toronto

    May 22, 2015, 6:31 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Arizona Coyotes Getty Images

    He was credited with turning around the Red Wings’ power play.

  7. WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Lightning, Game 4 of Eastern Conference Final

    May 22, 2015, 6:01 PM EDT

    Nikita Kucherov, Ryan McDonagh AP

    Will New York be able to contain Tampa Bay this time around?

  8. Blackhawks need more ‘quick plays’ to crack Anaheim’s structure

    May 22, 2015, 4:34 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Three Getty Images

    Not only did the Ducks block 27 shots last night, they clogged up the neutral zone too.

  9. Benning trying to figure where Markstrom ‘fits in’

    May 22, 2015, 2:24 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Canucks GM witnessed the goalie get a shutout in the AHL playoffs.

  10. TVR won’t play Game 4, but he’s ‘cleared to participate’

    May 22, 2015, 1:41 PM EDT

    Trevor van Riemsdyk Getty Images

    Coach Q: “He’ll need a few days out here. We’ll get an evaluation and go from there.”

  11. ’16 Draft prospect Bellows, son of Brian, wins USHL Rookie of the Year

    May 22, 2015, 1:38 PM EDT

    Bellows

    Son of ex-NHLer Brian is off to Boston University next year.

  12. Video: Emotional Babcock says good-bye to Detroit

    May 22, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT

    Babcock

    “It’s been real special, to say the least.”

  13. Columbus goalie prospect Dansk bolts for Sweden

    May 22, 2015, 12:47 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

    The third ‘tender taken at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft had a rough first pro season in North America.

  14. Wild re-sign AHL Iowa assists leader Keranen

    May 22, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Petteri Lindbohm, Michael Keranen Getty Images

    Finnish forward joined the organization last year after solid production in the SM-liiga.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. H. Lundqvist (1460)
  2. K. Versteeg (1375)
  3. S. Stamkos (1336)
  4. P. Kane (1308)
  5. C. Crawford (1273)