The Department of Player Safety has issued their rulings, and this time Radko Gudas will miss only two games. The Philadelphia Flyers defenseman has been given a two-game suspension for his high-stick/slash on Nikita Kucherov last night. In addition to the suspension, Robert Hagg has also been issued a $3,091.40 fine for interference, the maximum allowable under the CBA.
As the accompanying video explains:
While we agree with Gudas’ assertion that this slash excessively forceful or violent, this is an intentional play by Gudas. A player who intentionally brings his stick down on the head of an opponent with a two-handed slashing motion, can expect to be penalized by the on-ice officials and in most cases be met with some form of supplementary discipline, be it a warning, a fine or a suspension. What causes this play to rise to the level of a suspension is Gudas’ disciplinary history. Specifically, his history of similar behavior.
The league goes on to explain this history of the Flyers defenseman, which includes a much longer ban for a more forceful slash to the head of Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault not even two years ago. It’s clear that the league is fed up with the fact that Gudas has repeatedly used his stick to attack the head of a player, even if in this instance it was not an extremely violent slash.
With Gudas’ history he’ll be looked at even more closely in the future and if another incident like this occurs you can bet the league will increase the suspension even further. While an effective defender, Gudas must start to avoid situations like this or risk much lengthier bans.