Washington Capitals: Making the case to not re-sign Radko Gudas

The Washington Capitals shouldn’t re-sign Radko Gudas.

The Washington Capitals always spend to the cap and don’t have a lot of money this offseason. Plus they’re saving up for that extension of Alex Ovechkin. So bringing back Radko Gudas, who has a high cap hit and will be seeking a raise, just doesn’t make sense.

This isn’t a knock on the guy. But Gudas himself even admitted back in May that he might not be back with the Capitals next season. He spoke to Czech Republic reporter Pavel Papiskar of Seska Televize. Translated from Czech to English Gudas said the following:

“I don’t think there is a chance (of returning to Washington). They are already fighting against the salary cap. They have young players there and they will play under contracts that will definitely be more acceptable to them. I think the players whose contracts expire after this season will leave Washington.”

Gudas was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Matt Niskanen. Over a year ago, last summer, I said the Caps won that trade. I admit, I was wrong.

Gudas brings a goon style to the game with viscous hits. He’s a good defenseman, don’t get me wrong. The situation with the defense just didn’t work out in Washington.

He carried a cap hit of $2,345,000. He is due a raise of probably $2.5 million or $3 million but the Caps don’t have money for that. They want to possibly re-sign Brenden Dillon and their ultimate goal is to make sure Ovi retires as a Capital.

Gudas finished with two goals and 13 assists for 15 points in 63 games. He had 75 blocks and laid out 164 hits. He also had a good Corsi For percentage of 50.4 percent.

There were also some troubles to his game. Gudas took too many penalties with 12 minors, the third most among defensemen this season in the NHL. He was a high volume shooter but only had a 2.4 accuracy percentage. He was responsible for nearly 30 percent of Caps attempts when he was on the ice.

Gudas was usually on the third pair and Peter Hassett of Russian Machine Never Breaks noted an example of when he was paired with Michal Kempny. In 144 minutes together, the Caps controlled 51.6 percent of shot attempts which isn’t bad but they controlled just 42.7 percent of the expected goals, which is bad.

Gudas will likely sign with another team looking for more money, money that the Caps don’t have but that’s OK. There are holes in their defense that they need to address and the Gudas experiment just didn’t work out.