It has been reported that Florida Panthers defenseman Eric Gudbranson has been suspended by the team. The suspension is a result of a shoulder injury Gudbranson suffered in September which was expected to keep Gudbranson off the ice for about four months. While originally the injury was reported to have occurred during a training session, it has recently come to light that Gudbranson injured his shoulder while wake boarding with friends. The nature of the injury, occurring during a non-hockey related event, is the reason for the suspension. The suspension will only last as long as Gudbranson is injured. (Source CBS Sports)
What does this suspension mean? Not much at all. The suspension means Gudbranson cannot workout at team facilities and he does not have to be paid by the Panthers. Gudbranson already was not training at team facilities so the suspension is essentially a way for the Panthers to avoid paying Gudbranson while he is injured. (Source CBS Sports)
According to Pierre LeBrun of espn.com, one of the rules of the lockout reads as follows, “If a player is injured while playing in another league during the lockout, an NHL club can suspend him without pay until he is fit to play.” The situation with Gudbranson is very similar except Gudbranson was injured during a non-team related activity. The suspension does not represent a conflict between Gudbranson and the Panthers, and when Gudbranson is healthy the suspension will be lifted. (Source CBS Sports) If he heals up before the lockout ends, Gudbranson will not miss a single game. The worst case scenario is Gudbranson misses a few games at the start of the season while he gets himself back to full fitness.