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Flyers’ Radko Gudas disagrees with 10-game suspension

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Radko Gudas is just like you and I in the sense that he also expected a big suspension for slashing Mathieu Perreault of the Winnipeg Jets in the back of the neck. He was a right as the NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Sunday that he will sit for 10 games and be docked $408,536.60.

While the Philadelphia Flyers defenseman knew a suspension was coming, he didn’t think it would be as many as 10 games.

“I was surprised. I did not expect that, no,” Gudas said on Monday via Flyers TV.

All of Gudas’ previous encounters with the DoPS involved bad hits, usually to an opponents’ head. This was the first time he’ll sit due to bad stick work.

[Radko Gudas suspended 10 games]

“Before, I never used my stick in any way like that,” he said. “It was unfortunate.”

Despite the ugliness of the slash, Perreault was fine and hasn’t missed any games for the Winnipeg Jets. He was well-aware of Gudas’ rap sheet and while he said the defenseman apologized, he was weary at the thought it wasn’t intentional.

[Perreault bemoans ‘stupid’ slash]

“He apologized in the penalty box, but when you look at the replay, it looks like he did it on purpose,” Perreault said last week. “It wasn’t an accident. He’s been known for doing stuff like that, so I certainly don’t appreciate it. I’m sure the league will take care of it.”

Gudas won’t be able to return to the Flyers’ lineup until Dec. 12 and it doesn’t look like he’s going to appeal. It will be interesting to see what happens the next time he runs afoul of the NHL rulebook given this latest suspension.

“I don’t agree with it, but I accept their decision,” Gudas said. “There’s not much else I can say.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Radko Gudas suspended 10 games for slashing Mathieu Perreault over the head

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We all knew that Radko Gudas would receive a suspension for his slash to the back of Jets forward Mathieu Perreault‘s head, but we didn’t know how long he’d be forced to sit out.

On Sunday, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced that Gudas has been suspended for 10 games for the incident.

The league confirmed that the fact that the Flyers defenseman is a repeat offender played against him in this case.

Check out the Department of Player Safety’s full explanation of the suspension:

The suspension will also cost him just over $408,000 in salary, per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. Ouch!

“He got the meaty part of the neck,” Perreault said after the game, per TSN.ca  “It could have been worse, I guess.

“He apologized in the penalty box, but when you look at the replay, it looks like he did it on purpose. It wasn’t an accident. He’s been known for doing stuff like that, so I certainly don’t appreciate it. I’m sure the league will take care of it.”

Gudas served the first game of the suspension on Saturday. He’ll be eligible to return to the Flyers lineup on on Dec. 12 against Toronto.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Perreault bemoans ‘stupid’ slash; Gudas accepts phone hearing (UPDATE)

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WINNIPEG — Mathieu Perreault didn’t shy away from expressing his feelings after nearly being decapitated on Thursday night by Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas.

“It was kind of stupid by him,” Perreault said after receiving a vicious two-hand chop to the back of his neck in the first period of a 3-2 shootout win for his Winnipeg Jets.

The play, reminiscent of an executioner in Medieval times striking an unlucky soul with an axe at the gallows, came after Perreault and Gudas were jockeying for position in the corner in Philadelphia’s zone. The result was a two-minute minor for high-sticking, assessed to Perreault, and a five-minute major and a game misconduct for Gudas, who is no stranger to getting a phone call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

On Friday morning, the NHL offered the 27-year-old an in-person hearing with a date and time to be determined if Gudas chooses to accept.

Gudas was most recently suspended six games in October of 2016 for a cheap shot to the head of Boston Bruins forward Austin Czarnik.

It’s important to note that the offer of an in-person hearing means the suspension Gudas is facing could sail far north of five games. Given the Czech Republic native’s history, there’s little reason to think the head of player safety, George Parros, won’t throw a very hard book at Gudas.

Perreault, meanwhile, said he dodged a bullet on the play.

“He got the meaty part of the neck. It could have been worse if he got me in the side of the face or in the skull or bone,” Perreault said. “(Gudas) apologized in the penalty box, but when you look at the replay, it looks like he did it on purpose. It wasn’t an accident. He’s been known for doing stuff like that, so I certainly don’t appreciate it. I’m sure the league will take care of it.”

It certainly could have been much worse, as Perreault alluded to in his post-game comments, and more so given that the 29-year-old only returned to the Jets lineup on Thursday after a 12-game spell on the sidelines with a lower-body ailment.

Gudas’s rap sheet in the NHL is long. Here are some of his notable transgressions:

– Dec. 2, 2015 – Gudas is suspended three games for a needless headshot to then-Ottawa Senators forward Mika Zibanejed.

– February 2016 – Gudas receives three separate game misconducts in a span of sixteen days, the last coming on Feb. 16 for yet another head shot on New Jersey Devils forward Bobby Farnham.

– Oct. 3, 2016 – Another ejection, this time for boarding. A head was spared, this time.

– Oct. 8, 2016 – Ah, but not for long. Gudas’s latest run-in with the league prior to Thursday night came last season with another targeted shot to the head, this time at the expense of Boston Bruins forward Austin Czarnik. He was suspended six games.

– Oct. 26, 2016 – Another game misconduct for — you guessed it — an illegal shot to the head.

– Nov. 16, 2017 – Gudas makes like a lumberjack and tries to take Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault’s head off.

UPDATE: Gudas has waived his right to an in-person hearing and will speak with the NHL Department of Player Safety over the phone on Sunday.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck.

Patrik Laine plays mind games with himself

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WINNIPEG — Perhaps it was all just an elaborate ruse.

Patrik Laine, the Winnipeg Jets’ superstar forward and the proud owner of a shot every NHLer (save for Alex Ovechkin) would kill for, recently declared hockey to be a “hard” game to play and admitted that he had lost the confidence he previously held in his game.

You see, Laine, a very good goal scorer already at 19 years of age, had only scored four times in 11 games and had gone four games without a tally.

Simply, it didn’t compute in the sniper’s head.

Stricken with a brief inability to score, Laine felt some self-inflicted ridicule would do the trick.

“I think he had that whole thing, I’m not saying scripted, but he puts pressure on himself because I think he enjoys it in some ways,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice, adding that he believes Laine might just be smarter than us all. “He’s hard on himself. Kind of filleting himself in front of the world there, the hockey world, somehow gets him going, somehow drives him more.”

It’s all just a little macabre, no? Nevertheless, it worked.

Laine said Tuesday that to get out of his funk, he’d have to do one of his favorite things: shoot.

“That’s the key,” Laine said. “Because if you’re not shooting, you’re not scoring.”

It’s with this simple wisdom that Laine rattled off goals in five straight games after declaring hockey was harder than he appears to make it look.

His goal-scoring streak ended in a 4-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night, but Laine chipped in a helper to extend his point streak to six games.

“Maybe (my confidence is) not 100 percent but it’s getting higher all the time,” Laine said. “It feels like hockey – it isn’t getting easier, I mean, but it feels like a lot of fun.”

Meanwhile, Laine’s yet-to-be-written self-help book could revolutionize how athletes deal with low confidence.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck.

Trevor Strader honors late dad with stirring rendition of U.S. anthem (Video)

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It was a touching scene inside American Airlines Center on Monday when Trevor Strader, son of late Dallas Stars play-by-play man Dave Strader, performed the national anthem before their game against the Winnipeg Jets.

The hockey world lost Dave Strader on Oct. 1 after he passed away following a long battle with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of bile duct cancer. While he was diagnosed in June 2016, he managed to work five Stars games last season as well as a few during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

[Stars announcer Dave Strader dies at 62]

This is the second straight year Trevor has performed during the the team’s Hockey Fights Cancer night. The lavender warmup jerseys players wore during warmups will be auctioned off with proceeds, along with those from a 50/50 raffle, benefiting charity, including the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation.

Strader’s voice is missed not only in Dallas, but all around the hockey world. Next week he’ll be honored during the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Toronto as winner of the 2017 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, which is gived to members of the radio and television industry “who make outstanding contributions to their profession and the game of ice hockey during their broadcasting career.”

“People who I’ve never met before, have talked to me for 20 minutes about not only what an incredible broadcaster he was, but how all he talked about was his kids,” Trevor Strader told Sean Shapiro of NHL.com. “Which I knew he was proud of us, so knowing we were always on the front of his mind, even at his job. He was always a dad and a husband first and then did his job. There has just been amazing support from so many people.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.