Erik Gudbranson injury: Panthers defenseman hurt wakeboarding, suspended

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Gudbranson forced to pay for medical costs and lose first month's pay because injury happened during a non-hockey activity.

Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson dislocated his shoulder while wakeboarding with a group of friends in September and has since been suspended by the organization until he is medically cleared for contact, according to a report in The Sun Sentinel.

Since the injury occurred off the ice and in a non-hockey drill, Gudbranson went to his own doctors and paid for his own surgery. If the injury had occurred during NHL preseason training, the Panthers would have covered the medical costs and Gudbranson would have been guaranteed to receive his first month's pay.

"It was a freak accident," Gudbranson's agent, Mark Guy told The Sun Sentinel. "He was wakeboarding with a lot of [friends] in the summer and unfortunately he fell off and hurt his shoulder.

"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."

Gudbranson, the third overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, would likely start the season playing for Florida's AHL affiliate in San Antonio if the league and the players can ever come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement and end the lockout. The NHL has been in the midst of a lockout since Sept. 15 and already cancelled a total of 422 regular season games through Dec. 14.

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