Florida Panthers announced Thursday that rookie defenseman Erik Gudbranson will stay with the team beyond his ninth game, which is Thursday night in Ottawa.
That is significant because once a player plays in his 10th game, the clock begins ticking on his entry-level deal. So, by keeping Gudbranson around, Florida will burn the first year of the rookie's three-year deal.
If he was not kept up, he would have had to have been returned to his junior team, the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League
“He’s played well enough, and it’s a positive that he stays here,’’ Florida GM Dale Tallon told the Miami herald on Weddnesday. “We’ll decide on Friday. But there’s a good chance — we’re leaning toward keeping him. What’s best for his future, for him totally is what’s important. Is it best for him to stay here? At this time, I would probably say it is. He’s been fine. I think he has a presence out there. … It will probably be better for him once we make this decision.’’