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Radko Gudas Signs Three Year Extension with Tampa Bay Lightning

May 6th, 2013 at 3:42 PM
By Kyle Alexander Abney

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that they have signed rookie defenseman Radko Gudas to a three year contract extension.

Reportedly, the extension is a 1-way deal for all three years.

 

Gudas' deal was expiring and he would have become an RFA. The extension keeps him in Tampa Bay through the 2015-2016 season, and since it's an entirely 1-way deal, suggests the organization believes him to be ready for permanent, full-time NHL duty.

Gudas played in 22 games with the Lightning this season, mostly on the bottom-pairing with Keith Aulie. Those two formed a formidable, physical defensive pair that was able to keep pucks out of their own net (something many defensive pairings have struggled to do for the Lightning in recent years) but also to move pucks in the right direction, making good breakout passes and minimizing crippling turnovers.

The next step for Gudas is finishing out these AHL playoffs strong — they are likely his last games in the American League, but the playoff experience is still highly valuable. A good offseason and showing at training camp should see Gudas start 2013-2014 where he ended this season — on that bottom defensive pairing, likely with Aulie — but he still has an opportunity to seize a top-4 role moving forward.

The second pairing of Eric Brewer and Matt Carle was ineffective most of the season, and in his limited time as a top-4 guy, Gudas did not seem at all out of place. His right shot and physical presence make him an ideal candidate to pair with Carle in the future once he's ready for top-4 assignments and minutes.

Tags: Hockey, NHL, Radko Gudas, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

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