This season was shaping up to be an important one for Florida’s Erik Gudbranson, but it may have to wait a while before it starts.
Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel reports the 20 year-old defenseman was hurt in a training accident and things might be dicey. Fialkov says the injury may be serious and he required medical attention after it occurred.
In his first full season with the Panthers last year, Gudbranson scored two goals and added six assists with 78 penalty minutes in 72 games. He’s being groomed to be Florida’s physical presence on defense as well as a true defensive-defenseman.
Fortunately the Panthers have good depth on the blue line especially after adding Filip Kuba as a free agent this summer. If Gudbranson winds up missing a lot of time, a lockout could work out well to his benefit as far as getting time to recover without missing games.
Montreal won’t have Rene Bourque to kick around for up to the next three months.
The Habs announced Bourque underwent successful surgery to repair an abdominal wall tear and will be out 8-12 weeks. Bourque was injured while doing offseason exercises to prepare for the coming season.
If you want to take a semi-positive out of this for the Habs, a lockout could help limit the number of games he’ll miss. Of course the downside to that is a lockout means no hockey for anyone at all.
Bourque was acquired by the Canadiens last season from Calgary and scored just five goals with three assists in 38 games for Montreal. While with Calgary, he scored 13 goals in the same number of games. Whoops.
This one seemed to fly under the radar, but Patrik Elias had an injured groin.
Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice hears from Devils GM Lou Lamoriello that Elias had minor surgery to repair the issue and will be back skating soon.
“Patrik had a little pull, so that’s been fixed,” Lamoriello said.
Lamoriello said Elias’ groin problem was on “a different side” from the one that twice required surgery – in 2005 and 2009.
At least it’s not a flare up of an old issue.
Elias had a goal and an assist in the six-game loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup finals. He finished with five goals and three assists throughout this year’s playoffs.
If you thought the Colorado Avalanche signing defenseman Greg Zanon was a little odd, there’s a good reason why they did it.
Courtesy of fan blog Eurolanche, defenseman Jan Hejda let’s it be known he’ll miss 4-6 months after having wrist surgery. Adrian Dater of the Denver Post finds out from the Avalanche that Hejda had surgery right after the season ended which helps push up his date to return. Nice of the Avs to let us all in on that tidbit.
With Hejda out until at least the start of the season, Zanon being brought on board makes sense as a replacement. They’re both defensive-defensemen but, as Dater points out, when Hejda returns they’ll have a logjam on the blue line. As it is now they’ve got seven defensemen signed and still have Erik Johnson to get signed on long term. With eight guys, someone is likely to get moved later on.
It was a poorly-kept secret Ilya Kovalchuk was playing through pain in the Stanley Cup finals. He didn’t look like the dynamic offensive powerhouse he was in the first three rounds and having to deal with the physically punishing Kings made matters worse.
Today, Devils coach Peter DeBoer confirmed what everyone believed to be true in that Kovalchuk was playing through a back injury. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen reports DeBoer saying Kovalchuk’s back was in such rough shape he was playing “well below 100 percent.”
Kovalchuk had just one goal, an empty-netter in Game 4, during the finals but finished the postseason tied for the playoff lead in goals scored with eight and third in points with 19, one behind both Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. While that offense all came in the first three rounds for Kovalchuk, you wonder how differently things would’ve turned out if he was fully healthy. Kovalchuk finished fifth in the NHL in points this season.