VOORHEES, N.J. — The way Radko Gudas sees it, the only reason he will miss the first six games of the season on a suspension is because of lateness.
As in hitting Bruins rookie Austin Czarnik late along the boards during Saturday’s preseason finale in Boston.
“I was surprised. I didn’t expect that amount (of games),” the Flyers' defenseman said Tuesday. “We talked about it on the call. They didn’t like the lateness of the hit. A little over the line. I can’t say if it is fair or unfair. I just think it was surprising for me.”
This is his second suspension. As a repeat offender, subsequent suspensions generally increase in games missed. Also, Gudas is developing a reputation as a dangerous player a la Zac Rinaldo, which put Gudas on the NHL’s Department of Player Safety watch list.
“I think I was on the target [list] the last two seasons,” he admitted. “I don’t think, for me, it changes me. I just have to be aware of these situations.”
Gudas acknowledged his conversation with coach Dave Hakstol after the Jimmy Vesey hit last week in which he wasn’t suspended. He said of that hit, “It was a tough decision.”
“I don’t think I could have done much differently,” Gudas added. “I’m a physical player, I like to play the body. Turning your back at the last second doesn’t help anybody.”
Hakstol declined to address whether Gudas has developed a reputation with the league office.
“He got six games from the league ... he’s a teammate and we’re going to support him,” Hakstol said. “We’ll help him be the most effective player he can be.”
General manger Ron Hextall thought the six-game ban was a bit harsh.
"I think it was on the heavy end," Hextall said of the six games. "[His reputation] was there already. Gudy plays a hard game. Everyone knows the guys in the league who play a hard game and Gudy is one of those guys. That's not a negative. We like guys who play hard."
The roster goes in at 5 p.m.
Hextall said he will send Roman Lyubimov to the Phantoms and place Scott Laughton (knee) on LTIR to get under the $73.0 million cap by $113,000.
On Wednesday, the team will place defenseman Michael Del Zotto (knee) on LTIR, recall Lyubimov and send Jordan Weal to the Phantoms. All these moves are on “paper.” No one physically moves until Wednesday.
The Flyers will carry 13 healthy forwards and just six defensemen to start the season. Suspended players — Brayden Schenn and Gudas — count against the roster and the cap.
“We got as close as we could to the cap and it’s $113,000,” Hextall said. “We can only take one extra player [on the opening road trip]. We’ll take an extra forward and cross our fingers.”
Three Flyers have changed numbers for the new season. Nick Cousins will wear 25 (from 52), Ivan Provorov will wear 9 (from 64) and Travis Konecny will wear 11 (from 63). Provorov wore 9 for his junior club, WHL Brandon. Players had the option to stick with their current numbers or change.