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Florida Panthers getting tougher, sign Radko Gudas



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Washington Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas (33) warms up for the game against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 8, 2020 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

The Florida Panthers want to be a tougher team to play against and, a few minutes into free agency, signed defenseman Radko Gudas.

The Panthers reportedly sign the 30-year-old to a three-year deal worth $7.5 million.

With the addition of Gudas, reports continue that the Panthers could trade restricted free agent MacKenzie Weegar.

Although Gudas probably slots into a bottom-six pairing — he has 26 goals and 120 points in 479 NHL games — the Panthers have now added two d-men in the past two days after trading for Columbus’ Markus Nutivaara.

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The Panthers are also said to have interest in some of the bigger-named defensemen currently on the market.

Gudas spent his first three seasons with the rival Lightning and had a number of run-ins with the Panthers (and everyone else) during that time.

From 2015-19, Gudas was suspended four times by the NHL — all for hits to the head.

After four seasons with the Flyers, Gudas played with the Capitals last year.

New Florida GM Bill Zito has said he wants the Panthers to be a harder team to play against with the first trade he made bringing Patric Hornqvist in from Pittsburgh.

“Radko plays an imposing, defensive game,” Zito said.

“He is a hard-working defenseman who plays the game with an edge. Radko brings the type of physicality and tenacity to our group that we want as we add to our roster.” 

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