As a repeat offender, Gudas will lose $245,121.95 thanks to this six-game suspension.
That hit came soon after he avoided a suspension for another questionable preseason hit. Here’s the league’s video explanation for the decision:
So far, reactions range from the punishment being a “good start” to something that won’t register enough with the frequent hitter. Most believe that his run-ins with the league’s disciplinarians are far from over, however.
His history of violence
If the Department of Player Safety had a speed dial list of regulars, Gudas would have a prominent spot on it. He’s actually dodged quite a few disciplinary bullets in a short period of time.
Shero signed Gibbons out of Boston College, and Gibbons eventually worked his way up to the NHL, peaking with 17 points in 41 games during the ’13-14 campaign (and another three in eight playoff games).
Since leaving the Pens organization, Gibbons has spent time with both the Blue Jackets and Rangers organizations, though mostly with their American League affiliates.
As mentioned above, Shero loves him some Penguins.
His coach in New Jersey, John Hynes, came from the Pittsburgh organization. So too did his assistant GM, Tom Fitzgerald.
And players? Oh yeah, Shero loves his old Pittsburgh players. Since taking the New Jersey GM gig in May of 2015, Shero has brought Lee Stempniak, Bobby Farnham, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, David Warsofsky, Beau Bennett and Ben Lovejoy into the fold.
On Thursday, two more New Jersey skaters — Joseph Blandisi and Devante Smith-Pelly — were fined for diving, making them the third and fourth members of the team this season to be punished for the infraction.
(Before you all start freaking out, yes, it is true that Smith-Pelly’s fine came as a result of his actions as a Canadien. Accordingly, the fine will be included in Montreal’s accumulation totals.)
From the league:
Blandisi was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 847 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 16. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 13:14 of the second period during NHL Game No. 893 against the New York Rangers on Feb. 23. Blandisi drew a minor penalty for interference to Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath and was assessed a minor penalty for embellishment on the play.
Smith-Pelly was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 512 at Minnesota on Dec. 22. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 6:16 of the second period during NHL Game No. 902 at Washington on Feb. 24. Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom received a minor penalty for slashing on the play.
The Devils are going to be a really interesting team to watch moving forward, because bench boss John Hynes is now in danger of becoming the first coach to receive a fine for diving/embellishment since the citation program was brought into effect at the start of last season.
After the fourth player warning, coaches are subjected to a $2,000 fine. Blandisi is No. 3 — in December, Devils forward Jordin Tootoo was punished for diving/embellishment and, in January, fellow forward Bobby Farnham was dinged.
Gudas says he gets it now — ‘I can’t be doing this on the ice’
Only time will tell, but his coach is clearly running out of patience.
“The play the other night didn’t help us win a hockey game,” Dave Hakstol told reporters, per CSN Philly. “That’s the long and short of it, publicly.”
Hakstol said he spoke privately with Gudas following yet another game misconduct for the big defenseman Tuesday against New Jersey. Because Gudas was tossed at 8:10 of the first period after needlessly running over Devils forward Bobby Farnham, the Flyers were forced to play with five defenseman for most of that contest.