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Report: Calgary Flames had interest in free agent Radko Gudas (before he signed with Anaheim)

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Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
8 months ago
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The Calgary Flames were not a big player in the free agency market this off-season. Their most significant addition was defender Jordan Oesterle. But according to an interview in Czechia with Denik Sport, the Flames kicked tires on free agent blueliner Radko Gudas.
Writer Pavel Barta listed the Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs among teams that “showed interest” in Gudas.
Here’s Gudas, via Google Translate:
“I was surprised how many teams contacted me. I was glad they were interested. The season, actually the last two, three, were successful and I’m glad that they noticed it elsewhere. I could basically choose and I think I chose as best as I could. When I put everything together, from the contract to housing, the team and what is wanted of me, Anaheim was the best option for me.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Gudas noted he didn’t want to play in Canada, noting the media pressure experienced during the post-season. (It’s not for everybody.)
The 33-year-old Gudas had spent three seasons with Florida on a deal that paid him $2.5 million per season. He signed a three year deal with Anaheim that pays him $4 million per season and carries no-trade protections of various types in all three seasons.
From a Flames perspective, it’s easy to see what they would value in Gudas, who’s a right-shot physical blueliner listed at 6’0″ and 200 lbs – especially coming off a run to the Stanley Cup Final with the Panthers. That said, the Flames had seven blueliners on one-way deals heading into free agency – Oesterle made it eight – and they likely wouldn’t have the cap space to accommodate Gudas’ desired cap hit without trading out a significant contract from their existing defensive group.
Still, it’s an interesting “what if?” scenario that perhaps could have come to pass in different circumstances.

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