Man Down! Who Will Fill Erik Gudbranson’s Skates?

Erik Gudbranson.
Photo Source: Michael Miller/ Wikipedia Commons

Hello once again, hope everyone enjoyed the first week of the NFL season. Hopefully your team won! If you’re a Dolphin fan like me, well lets just say they did better then I thought they would. Also if you’re a Falcons fan like I am, our team looked pretty great on Sunday.

Anyway, I’m sure most of you have heard the terrible news about Erik Gudbranson. the 3rd overall pick back in 2010 who seems to have injured his shoulder during a training session last week. He had successful surgery and is expected to miss roughly four months of action.

This has to be a devastating blow to the Panthers plans for next season, but what is shocking to me was the fact that the Panthers were even thinking about starting Gudbranson in the AHL whether or not there was a lockout. To me this is kind of surprising and raises curiosity at the same time.  You’re going to send a young future star that played his best hockey of the year in the postseason to the AHL even if the regular season got under way? I’m personally trying to understand that, and while there may be good reasons for it, I don’t agree.

I understand they have multiple defenseman on this team that can play in the NHL, but personally I think Gudbranson is light years better then Keaton Ellerby.

Anyway this injury might be a pretty much good thing for Gudbranson if there is a lockout. He won’t be missing any action,  and may not have to play in the AHL when he returns, except for maybe a conditioning stint.

Word is, the Panthers were planning on having Gudbranson start the season with their AHL affiliate in San Antonio. With eight NHL defensemen on the roster — including the unsigned Dmitry Kuikov — it’s very possible Gudbranson may have spent part of the regular season (at the end of the lockout) with the Rampage. -George Richards

Still makes no sense to me, however I’m sure the Panthers organization has their reasons.

Want my 6 defenseman for next year?

Campbell, Kuba.

Kulikov, Weaver.

Gudbranson, Jovo.

Strachan and Ellerby scratched, or in San Antonio if they can clear waivers.

But with Gudbranson gone who would fill his skates? Could you possibly see a jump for some prospects like Colby Robak or Alex Petrovic?

I think it would be Tyson Strachan. Strachan definitely showed he has the potential to play every night in the NHL while Kulikov was injured last season. Strachan has good vision and he has pretty good skating ability. He is definitely defensive minded which we need, so he would tie in well with Jovo in my opinion.

It would be nice to see Petrovic get his feet wet in the AHL next year and maybe get a call up if a player gets hurt, but I think Strachan would be the logical choice to replace Gudbranson. To me Ellerby is too much of a defensive liability and many times seems unaware of the situation he’s in. He has some quality, but it’s just not working for me.

Losing Gudbranson is a huge blow in his development. I just hate seeing players who are barely 20-21 years old getting surgery already. It just gets a horrible feeling in my head for future progess, but hopefully Gudbranson’s shoulder injury will be a thing of the past in January, and not a recurring injury for the future.

Thank you for reading, Comments are appreciated !

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  1. David Rodriguez says:

    It would have made no sense, but yeah Strachan is a player we can use next year but I don’t see him as a long term player for us. Our defenseman are going to be stacked for years too come. Petrovic, Robak, Kulikov, Gudbranson, Campbell and others will be our backbone for the next 5 years. Plenty of depth.

  2. Any you’re right about Strachan. He was rock solid last season and rarely ever (if ever) made a mistake. He reminded me of Garrison during his early years with the Cats.

  3. No way Guddy would have started the season in the American League. No way.

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