Top Solution to Leafs' Defensive Gap Might Not Sit Well with Fans

Austin Kelly
May 28, 2023  (2:27 PM)

Potential Controversial Addition to Leafs' Defense.

Ever since their playoff season concluded with a Round 2 loss to the Florida Panthers in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been linked to various players.
Intriguingly, one of their potential top defensive recruits could be a player who stood out in that very series.
Maple Leafs Insider proposed Panthers' defenseman Radko Gudas as a potential new member of the Leafs' blue line.
The 32-year-old Gudas is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and might be in the running for a significant contract.
Given the anticipated departure of Justin Holl from Toronto, the Leafs could be scouting for a leading player in a defensive UFA market that isn't particularly deep.
The best right-handed options appear to be Matthew Dumba, Davon Severson, and John Klingberg, making Gudas a cost-effective alternative to replace Holl in Toronto.
However, Gudas might not be a fan-favorite choice. Notably, during Game 5, two incidents involving Gudas drew the ire of Leafs fans, one of which was an uncalled stick grab on Calle Jarnkrok, leading to the Panthers' series-winning goal.
Following the winning goal, Gudas seemed to shout at Leafs' rookie goalie, Joseph Woll.

Gudas playoff performer

Despite these concerns, Gudas offers a robust defensive style, reminiscent of what Toronto admired in players like Jake Muzzin.
Gudas would be a comparatively economical choice and likely not a long-term commitment, providing breathing space for promising prospects Topi Niemela and William Villeneuve, who could be just 1-2 years away from potentially joining the Leafs' roster.
While it's unlikely to be a universally approved move, Radko Gudas might be the most effective way for Toronto to fortify their defense without overspending or sacrificing valuable assets - provided the team can let bygones be bygones.
Read More at Maple Leafs Daily -
The Leafs have a hole to fill on the blueline, but fans may not like one of the better options
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Top Solution to Leafs' Defensive Gap Might Not Sit Well with Fans

Should the Leafs sign Radko Gudas?

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