After voicing concerns about coming back to North America to resume the NHL season throughout the pause, Washington Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas told the media on Thursday that he came back because “we have a chance to win the Cup” and felt confident with the league’s protocols. He wanted to compete.
Gudas thought that the NHL Players’ Association “did a great job” with the CBA extension, which will guarantee labor peace through the 2024-25 season, and knew that everyone wanted to come back to win the Stanley Cup.
On him expected to be a fringe player for the Capitals during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Gudas said that he is “just trying to be as positive I can,” and will answer the bell when called upon. “[I am working on] accepting this role as much as possible,” he said, adding that working hard is the key.
The 30-year-old Czech said that he wants to help 20-year-old defenseman Martin Fehervary, a fellow Czech, “as much as possible” and said it has been “easier for us to communicate” during training camp. “It’s fun to see him. … He’s progressing every day.”
Gudas thinks the tournament format is “going to be a lot different than everyone is [expecting]” and that the first few games will be “wild. … Hopefully, entertaining for the fans. It’ll be interesting to see how it works in this scenario,” he said.
Gudas said that the practices during training camp would help with the system and determine where everyone fits in the lineup.
He thinks that the Capitals “need to be the hardest team to play against” after the team allowed an average of 3.32 goals-per-game from December 8 onward, the third-highest in the NHL (Detroit Red Wings: 3.55, Ottawa Senators: 3.51). He wants opponents to pay for going to the Capitals’ net.
“The only thing on my mind is the [Stanley] Cup,” Gudas said when asked about his future as he can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, and the Capitals are up against the salary cap. He added that he gave his future thought in June. “It’ll come later … I’m sure something will happen,” Gudas concluded with.
By Harrison Brown