The NHL has been clear about their desire to resume and complete the 2019-20 season at some point this summer, but that’s not shared by every player in the league. Radko Gudas was interviewed in the Czech Republic about his concerns for a restart, and Alexandra Petakova of Russian Machine Never Breaks translated it to English. Never one to hide his feelings, Gudas doesn’t think restarting the season is a good idea:
If one guy is infected, basically the whole league has it in a week, given how they are planning to have everyone play against everyone. One stupid stumble and you can cancel it all again.
Perhaps more interesting from the interview however are Gudas’ comments on his future with the Washington Capitals. The veteran defenseman explained that the team is facing a difficult salary cap situation and believes that he and “a lot of the guys with contracts about to expire” will end up leaving the Capitals this offseason. Washington has four players on the NHL roster who are scheduled for unrestricted free agency: Gudas, Ilya Kovalchuk, Brenden Dillon and, perhaps most importantly, Braden Holtby.
- The CHL has settled a class-action lawsuit that was originally filed in 2014. The legal battle was to determine whether junior players were employees or student-athletes, and the settlement will result in OHL, WHL and QMJHL franchises paying approximately $30MM. These settlement discussions were actually held before the COVID-19 shutdown. As Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet writes, the approximately $250,000 that each franchise will need to pay is not insignificant for some. This follows recent news that the Portland Winterhawks parent company filed for bankruptcy and are looking for new ownership to take over the franchise.
- Kevan Miller hasn’t played in an NHL game for more than a year, and revealed yesterday that he is eight weeks removed from another surgical procedure on his right knee. A fractured kneecap ended his 2018-19 season and kept him out for all of this year, but he is still working to be ready for the start of the 2020-21 campaign. If he is ready to play again, where he hits the ice isn’t clear. The veteran defenseman’s contract is expiring and though the Boston Bruins have admitted they will “entertain the opportunity” of bringing him back, a tightening salary cap won’t make it easy.