Radko Gudas has an injury so mysterious that not even his coach knows what’s going on. Jon Cooper spoke to Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Bay Tribune yesterday, and he claimed to not know what is wrong with the defenseman. As per Erlendsson’s report:
That one I don’t know, but I’m mildly surprised he has not come back. But whatever it is, he’s not ready to go.
It’s important to note that the Tampa Bay Lightning have not classified this injury as a concussion, yet the timing and the incident that has caused Gudas to miss three contests seem to point toward a head injury of some kind. The bruising defenseman hasn’t played since November 22.
That was a game against the Anaheim Ducks, and Gudas dropped the gloves with Luca Sbisa.
Gudas had cracked Mathieu Perreault with a hard check in the corner. After the play was whistled down, Sbisa skated down from the blue line to voice his opinion. Gudas “answered the bell” and ended up eating a right cross to the jaw for his trouble.
He left that game immediately after the knockout punch, and has not played since. For a Lightning team that is already banged up at forward, they’re missing Gudas in a big way. The defender brings little bit of everything to the ice on a nightly basis, and is just as capable of scoring as he is of blocking shots.