Veteran defenseman says Leafs made him an offer on July 1st, reveals why he declined

Mike Armenti
August 2, 2023  (10:21)

Coming into this summer, regardless of who the GM was, Kyle Dubas or Brad Treliving, there was always a strong possibility that changes would be made to the roster - including on the blueline. Now, with Treliving at the helm, it's almost a foregone conclusion.

With the departure of Justin Holl this summer, Treliving had brought in John Klingberg in hopes of getting a little more offense from his blueline. However, when he commented following the first few days of free agency, Treliving had indicated that there were still tweaks he'd like to make to his D corps this summer.
Per a recent interview with Denik Sport, veteran defenseman Radko Gudas revealed that he was approached by the Leafs this summer with a contract offer, as well as offers from Edmonton and Calgary. Gudas revealed that he declined these offers due to not wanting to play in Canada, but also threw in a comment about the media in Toronto being a huge part of the reason he didn't want to sign there.
Gudas revealed during the interview that even though he was a Florida Panther and not a Toronto Maple Leaf, he still felt the pressure from the media.
Obviously, we know that playing in a hockey hot bed like Toronto or with any one of the other Original Six teams or any of the Canadian markets would come with an entirely different level of pressure.
In the end, it's all about how the player feels and what he wants to do with his career. Nobody is going to fault Gudas for wanting to land in a desirable location to him as a UFA. In the end, he chose warm, sunny California, where the media pressure is non-existent, signing a 3-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks, which carries a $4M cap hit.
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