Welcome to the NHL, Jimmy Vesey! That’s probably not how he had imagined his Monday night would go, but there’s no one better at dropping a steaming pile on your hockey health than the Flyers own Radko Gudas.
You can pass blame all around here. Gudas has a reputation for cheap, high, and late hits, so it’s hard to give him a pass on anything. He had a little time to ease up on Vesey, but not much. And it’s not like he wants to anyway. The guy just can’t resist those moments.
And Vesey? Boy oh boy, do I hate that move. He feels the pressure, quickly glances and sees Gudas coming, and then immediately turns to set himself up for a chiropractor visit. If he just keeps going forward it’s a regular body check and the puck continues deep into Flyer territory. Even former NHL ref Kerry Fraser (with perfect hair) chimed in on the play:
“But??” is right. It’s a “he said, she said” of Gudas’ reputation and dumb play against a bad decision by a Harvard guy. Hate to say it but do I side with the goon on this one? No. It’s on Gudas to ease up. As much as I dislike the turning move, Vesey has a right to make that move. And it’s a preseason game for Christ’s sake. Relax, Gudas. Gudas is a certifiable moron.
As a bonus, here’s the scuffle after the hit and the laundry list of penalty minutes:
UPDATE: Vesey returned to the game in the second period.