The NHL Department of Player Safety announced late Monday evening the suspension of Radko Gudas for the first 6 games of the 2016-17 season for his intereference on Boston's Austin Czarnik.
Gudas was offered an in-person hearing with the league late yesterday afternoon (which meant the league had the option to suspend him for more than 5 games, should they had deemed it appropriate), to which he quickly declined.
It took a little less than six hours for the league to come down with their decision.
Philadelphia's Radko Gudas suspended six games for interference on Boston's Austin Czarnik. https://t.co/1JieTjuvjP— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 10, 2016
In the above video, NHL's Department of Player Safety noted that the hit being so late was the key factor in such discipline being handed down onto Gudas.
It seems the organization had a feeling this was going to turn out this way.
Earlier today, Ron Hextall spoke about Gudas' frequent scrutiny by the league and Department of Player Safety, saying "It's something that [Gudas] has got to be aware of," adding "[Gudas] is a very effective player. [He's] got to play physical. There's just the odd thing that he has to take out of his game."
When asked about this hit and comparisons to Gudas' hit on the New York Rangers' Jimmy Vesey earlier last week, Hextall was quick to shut things down.
"No, the Vesey one was the player put himself in a bad position and our player finished the hit, " he said. "This one I think the argument is that it was a little bit late."
There's no denying that Radko Gudas has found and filled a physical niche that many Flyers fans deem important, but, after his second borderline hit in as many weeks, it's definitely time to reevaluate things. The organization has been relying on Gudas to provide top-four minutes on the backend, and he's simply more efficient on the ice than in the press box or penalty box.
The suspension, coupled with Michael Del Zotto's recent injury, leave the Flyers in a big bind with regards to their backend come opening night and the weeks thereafter.
Radko Gudas will be available to return when the Flyers take on the Buffalo Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, October 25th.
Here are the games Gudas will miss while serving his suspension:
- Friday, October 14 @ LAK
- Saturday, October 15 @ ARZ
- Tuesday, October 18 @ CHI
- Thursday, October 20 vs. ANA
- Saturday, October 22 vs. CAR
- Monday, October 24 @ MTL