The Florida Panthers have suspended Defenseman Erik Gudbranson due to a non-hockey related injury he suffered in September. Originally a source close to Gudbranson had stated it happened in a training exercise, but it has now been released that the incident occurred while Gudbranson was wakeboarding. “If a player can’t pass a physical as a result of a non-hockey related injury then the club has the right to suspend the player. The suspension ends once he’s able to pass the physical and is set to play. He hasn’t been cleared for contact and probably won’t be for approximately another month,” said Mark Guy, Gudbranson’s agent.
Gudbranson says after the incident he immediately contacted the Panthers to inform them of how he was injured, but didn’t discuss it publicly until now. “We were all young and adventurous,” Ed Jovanovski said Wednesday, “I’m not going to lie. I water-skied as a youth in the league. Unfortunately, things happen.”
Once Gudbranson is cleared for contact he would then have to pass a team physical in order for the suspension to be lifted, currently he’s paying for all of his own medical bills including a surgery he’s already had. “For him to own up to that in a situation he knows he screwed up is kudos to him,” said Panthers Defenseman and player representative Mike Weaver. Gudbranson has been skating with his teammates that remain in South Florida during the lockout in informal practices, now being held at Glacier Ice Arena at Lighthouse Point, Florida.