For Radko Gudas, his first season in Philadelphia was a huge success and his breakout season, so missing the World Cup was simply the price he has had to pay for attempting to make the second season anywhere near as effective.
Gudas, 26, became an almost overnight fan favorite among Flyers fans this past season for his rugged style of play and straddling of the line between over-aggressive and just aggressive enough. He notched a career-high five goals, scored 14 points and averaged nearly 20 minutes per game, which was the most responsibility he had ever been given at this level.
There was a good end result for Gudas, too, as he landed himself a four-year, $13.4-million contract extension following the season. But with a big raise comes more dedication to the team, and that includes missing something you’ve been looking forward to “all summer” in order to heal a wrist injury. That was the case for Gudas and the ongoing World Cup, he told Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi.
"It's a little disappointing because I had been looking forward to that all summer," Gudas said. ”But in the end, I have to be 100 percent for the Flyers' season. My main focus is the Flyers' season.”
Gudas, who would have been suiting up for the Czech Republic, backed out of the tournament only days before the exhibition games were slated to begin.
The wrist injury, which dates back to the 2015-16 season, was bad enough that Gudas was actually ruled out, so him playing at all would have been questionable to begin with. Maybe even more so considering he told Carchidi that he can’t quite shoot yet because of the pain. In fact, Gudas described the injury as something minor that had the possibility to turn into something major if he didn’t give it the time to heal correctly. His absence is precautionary, in that sense.
“We decided we're not going to take the chance of me getting hurt in the week and a half or two weeks at the tournament,” Gudas told Carchidi.
However, despite being unable to shoot, Gudas said he’s “pretty positive” that he’ll be ready come the start of the 2016-17 campaign. It could take up to three more weeks for him to be healthy, but that would still have him ready in time for the Flyers’ season-opener against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 14. Even if he can’t make it back by then, there isn’t much doubt he’ll be back by the time the Flyers return to Philadelphia for their home opener on Oct. 20 against the Anaheim Ducks.
And that’s music to Flyers’ fans ears, because a healthy and physically punishing Gudas is what they’ve come to expect. Given that he has time to heal after skipping the World Cup, that’s exactly what they’ll be getting.
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