Tampa Bay Lightning D Radko Gudas says "I hope he's okay" after hit on Florida's Kris Versteeg
With 12:31 to go in the third period of his first NHL game, Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas got some attention he did not want as a knee-to-knee hit with Florida's Kris Versteeg forced the Panthers right wing out of the game with a right-knee injury.
Gudas said the play was accidental and replays showed the hit was not dirty. Gudas was not penalized. As of Wednesday afternoon, there was no update on Versteeg's condition.
"It’s the type of my game. I play the body," Gudas said. "I wasn’t going to hurt him or anything. I went for the puck and turned my back to him and he kind of tried to jump around me. It’s something that happens in hockey. I obviously didn’t want him to get hurt or anything. I hope he’s okay."
Added Lightning coach Guy Boucher:"That body check wasn't a body check, if you look at it. It wasn't cheap. It wasn't anything. It's just bad luck for Versteeg. I feel bad. Even if it's an opponent, you don't want to see that."
Gudas had a successful debut with two hits and three blocked shots in 15:20 of ice time.
"He played solid. He played poised, a lot more poised than I though he would be for a first game," Boucher said.