Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas has been suspended for 10 games without pay for a slash across the neck of Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault on Nov. 16, the NHL announced on Sunday night.
After a battle near the puck, Gudas tripped Perreault to the ice. He raised his stick in the air and brought it down on the Jets player's neck while he was down on the ice. Gudas was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for slashing. Perreault escaped significant injury, telling reporters after the game that Gudas got him in "the meaty part" of his neck.
"This is a forceful chopping motion delivered to a player in a vulnerable position," ruled the NHL's department of player safety in an explanatory video.
Gudas told the NHL that the slash wasn't intentional, although he did acknowledge that he was aware of Perreault's presence. But even then, the reckless nature of the play was enough for supplemental discipline, according to the league. "All parties involved agreed that the stick movement was reckless and done with substantial force," said the NHL.
Gudas is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, having been suspended twice in the past two years: Three games for a headshot against Ottawa center Mika Zibanejad in December 2015, and six games for a hit to the head of Boston Bruins' forward Austin Czarnik in October 2016.
The Flyers defenseman, 27, has two assists in 17 games this season, skating 15:29 per game. Based on his average annual salary, Gudas will forfeit as much as $408,536.60. He has the right to an appeal since the suspension is greater than six games.