Gudas’ suspension says “non-hockey play” will carry heavy weight
Radko Gudas said Monday he was caught off-guard by the NHL's Department of Player Safety decision to hand him a 10-game suspension for slashing Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault over the back of the head.
Gudas waived his right to his an in-person hearing, and was therefore aware his ban could be more than five games. However, he did not expect to number of games to hit 10.
"I was surprised. I did not expect that, no," Gudas told reporters.
Gudas was a repeat offender in the eyes of the league office, picking up his third suspension in as many seasons. He noted Monday that his past run-ins with the league have been for hits, not stick infractions.
“Before, I never used my stick in any way like that. It was unfortunate,” he said.
The 27-year-old said he would not be appealing the league's suspension, but added, "I don't agree with it."
Perreault, who was uninjured on the play, was content with the league's ruling on Gudas. He told the Winnipeg Sun he hopes the suspension will serve as a deterrent for Gudas from committing similar acts in the future.
"I hope for him [it is]," Perreault said. "This wasn't the first time he's done something like that. The point of all this is to get rid of the stupid moves, really. Hopefully, that sends him a message."
Perreault said after the Nov. 16 contest in which he slashed by Gudas, he didn't believe the slash was accidental, despite Gudas apologizing.