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Radko Gudas: feeling the pressure in Toronto (with the Panthers) prompted him to sign elsewhere

Radko Gudas is one tough son of a bitch. The defender is one of the league’s best physical players, delivering some pretty violent shoulder blows to his opponents.

He stays within the law quite often, but it’s close to the limit from time to time. Talk to Kirby Dach and Kaiden Guhle.

And after being an important player for the Panthers last year, Gudas became an independent player. He took the opportunity to sign a big contract with the Ducks ($12 million over three years), where he will play a mentoring role.

However, Gudas revealed to Denik Sport (a Czech media outlet) that many Canadian clubs were interested in him, but that he never considered signing in Canada for one simple reason: in his eyes, the pressure is “crazy” in these markets, especially in the playoffs.

Having felt it in Toronto (even in a Panthers uniform) really made an impression on him.

Gudas claims that the Flames, Oilers and Maple Leafs all made offers, so there was no shortage of interest from Canadian teams. A market like Anaheim, where there’s much less pressure, was a better fit.

And in fact, it’s a reminder that the NHL is the only league where the guys fear the pressure so much. In the NBA and MLB, for example, markets like New York and Los Angeles are prized by the various autonomous players, but in field hockey, guys prefer to go to quieter markets.

It’s special, we agree.

And beyond the pressure, there’s also the cold and the taxes, which are often reasons why guys prefer to go elsewhere. But in Gudas’ case, you can really feel that it’s the reality of the market and the pressure that comes with it that has prompted him to look elsewhere, even though he’s never experienced it directly as a member of a Canadian team.

Pretty special though, isn’t it?

In Brief

– Alex Newhook’s first day with the CH.

And speaking of Newhook, he got plenty of love in Montreal yesterday after scoring two goals in the LSHL.

– Good question.

– Well done.

– Too bad.

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