Updated: 1:15 p.m.
Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas once again escaped punishment from the NHL for a questionable hit.
The league’s department of player safety declined to hold a hearing after watching video of Gudas’ hit to the Rangers Jimmy Vesey during Monday’s 4-3 Flyers win over the Rangers in overtime.
Vesey was carrying the puck in the Flyers' zone by the corner boards when he put his head down and tried to turn. Gudas followed through with his hit and leveled the Rangers' rookie. Video of the hit can be seen above.
According to a statement from the department to CSNPhilly.com: “Gudas does not have time to adjust or avoid the hit once Vesey turns.”
The hit seems far worse in real motion, but when you slow it down, it shows the Rangers’ rookie turning and crouching over, setting himself up for a bad hit to the head against the glass.
Gudas received a five-minute major for boarding and game misconduct.
“We both made the wrong decision,” Gudas said on Tuesday. “I’m glad he is all right. That’s hockey ... It’s tough to take it back. It happened really fast.
“I’m committed to the hit and even when he is turning, it’s tough to stop. I thought he saw me. Nothing I can do about it now. Hopefully, it won’t happen again.”
As for Vesey’s version …
“I didn’t expect that big of a hit, and the next thing I knew I was face first into the glass,” Vesey said. “I wasn’t expecting it, and got caught off guard a little bit.”
That Vesey was uninjured and remained in the game undoubtedly influenced the decision not to suspend Gudas even though that is not supposed to carry any weight in such matters.
“I felt fine,” Vesey said, adding he was not checked by medical personnel for a concussion. “I just got my nose into the boards, so I was fine.
“It’s been a tough couple of games, but I don’t mind that. It helped me open up a little bit, so I am fine with that.”
Gudas has had several incidents now that were close calls. He may be running out of his so-called nine lives.
“I hope I have more than that,” he laughed.