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Panthers recall Gudbranson from minors

The Florida Panthers are starting to round into solid health in early February. Now they can add a big, first-round defenseman into the mix.

After requiring shoulder surgery and an injury suspension from the team thanks to a wakeboarding accident, Erik Gudbranson is set to return to NHL action.

He’s been called up by the team, yet head coach Kevin Dineen told the Miami Herald that he’s unsure if he’ll make his 2013 Tuesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.

“He’s accomplishing everything we want,” Dineen said. “I haven’t made the final decision on if he plays or not. He’s been out for seven months. We’re finally getting guys back, getting into the groove of playing. He’s still working his way through it.”

The 21-year-old defenseman went through his rookie season in 2011-12, playing in 72 regular season and all seven postseason games. Florida might just need him with Ed Jovanovski (knee) and Mike Weaver (hip) a bit banged up.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.