Florida Panthers Sign Radko Gudas

Radko Gudas
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Radko Gudas has found a new home, signing a three-year deal worth $7.5 million with the Florida Panthers. Gudas’ deal is worth $2.5 million per season and will carry him through the 2022–23 season.

Radko Gudas Signs With Florida Panthers

The rough-and-tumble defenceman is coming off a four-year, $3.35 million per year contract, signed when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers. Gudas broke into the league with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012–13, quickly earning a reputation as a heavy – perhaps borderline – hitter. That reputation kept him in the league early in his career. Since then, however, he has focussed on playing a more responsible game with fewer trips to the penalty box. All told, Radko Gudas has played 479 regular-season NHL games over eight years. For his career, he’s scored 26 goals, 126 points — and 619 penalty minutes. He may have eased off hitting as his primary objective, but he certainly didn’t quit cold turkey.

Gudas was certainly valuable enough for the Washington Capitals to trade for him at the beginning of the year. He added a physical presence to the Capitals while also scoring two goals and 15 points in 63 regular-season games. He even chipped in two assists in five playoff games as a third-pair defender for 2019–20.

What This Means For The Future

The Florida Panthers know what they’re getting. Gudas is there as a hard-hitting, right-side defender. He’s not going to be asked to play 20 minutes a game, nor should he.  But he is capable of skating 16–18 minutes a night without putting his team at risk. Ideally, his job will be to disrupt any attack while his partner gets the puck out of harm’s way. At just 30 years of age, he isn’t a big risk to sign. This is especially true of the expected compressed 2020–21 schedule, which is going to be extremely physically taxing.

As for Washington, their right side is anchored by John Carlson and Dmitry Orlov, so the loss of Gudas doesn’t hurt much.

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