The long arm of the law finally caught up with Radko Gudas.
Sheriff Stephane Quintal and his Department of Player Safety posse have suspended the Flyers’ defenseman for six games following a hit to the head of Bruins winger Austin Czarnik.
Gudas drove Czarnik into the boards with a late, high hit 5:47 into the third period of Saturday night’s preseason game between Boston and Philadelphia. Czarnik was helped off the ice and did not return to the game.
Gudas was given a minor for boarding by veteran referees Eric Furlatt and Wes McCauley. Upon further review, Player Safety felt Gudas deserved more.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety called it a “late, high forceful hit… that made significant head contact.” They added that Czarnik was not eligible to be checked on the play, as the hit was initiated “outside the allowable window.”
“I just looked at [the hit],” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the game. “We saw the shoulder to the head. Somehow [Gudas] seems to have a knack of getting himself in trouble every game. I didn’t like the hit personally. I thought it was a little bit late, and a shoulder to the head. It’s disappointing. Here’s a young player [in Czarnik] having a good camp and really playing well, and then he ends up with a hit like that in the last few minutes.”
Czarnik was diagnosed with a concussion. He has resumed practicing with the Bruins.
Of course, Gudas probably shouldn’t have been in the Flyers’ lineup to begin with. The blueliner avoided suspension last week for a headshot on the Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey.
Gudas is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. He was previously suspended three games for an illegal check on Mika Zibanejad. Based on his average annual salary, he’ll forfeit $245,121.96.
2016-17 Suspension Tracker