The past two seasons have brought plenty of strange injuries for Erik Gudbranson. Last year he busted up his shoulder while wakeboarding, then reinjured it at the end of a lockout-shortened season. This year, Gudbranson took a puck to the face and needed surgery to repair his orbital bone. Earlier this month, he collided with Brad Marchand and hurt his knee. On Thursday, Gudbranson is expected to return to the Panthers lineup after missing the past nine games. Although the games don't mean much anymore, Gudbranson says he’s bound and determined to finish up strong heading into the offseason — something his injured shoulder wouldn’t allow him to do last year. “It's no fun being away from the team,”' said Gudbranson, the third overall pick of the 2010 NHL draft who made his debut the following year. “It’s been a tough season, that’s no secret. You don’t want to take the easy way out. I want to be out there with my team, finish the season strong start building for next year. It starts now. The environment needs to change. We need to become winners. We can push ourselves to the limit these last nine games.'” A restricted free agent this summer, Gudbranson doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.
Panthers’ Erik Gudbranson expected to return
Miami Herald | Mar 27