The Philadelphia Flyers have sent defenseman Radko Gudas to the Washington Capitals for defenseman Matt Niskanen.
Pierre LeBrun: The Flyers will be retaining 30 percent of Gudas’ salary. He carries a $3.35 million salary cap hit and will be a UFA after this season.
The 32-year old Niskanen was drafted 28th overall in the first round of the 2005 draft by the Dallas Stars. He carries a $5.75 million cap hit and will be a UFA after next season.
The 29-year old Gudas was drafted 66th overall in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He carries a $3.35 million cap hit.
Thoughts from the media…
Adam Kimelman: Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher: “He is a veteran, right shot defenseman who has a track record of success as a Stanley Cup champion. Having played heavy minutes in all situations throughout his career, Matt will be a steadying influence to our talented and young group of defenseman.”
Isabelle Khurshudyan: “Unpacking this a little bit, the Caps are saving cap space both this year and next year (because his contract comes off the books next summer unlike Niskanen’s). With Orpik almost certainly not coming back, Gudas is the physical presence on the third pair while Jensen moves up.”
Dave Isaac: “Makes the deal even more of a head scratcher. Gudas’ cap hit was already $2.4 million cheaper than Niskanen.”
Brian Hedger: “Radko Gudas and Tom Wilson. Teammates. Let that one sink in for a moment.”
Tom Gulitti: “Niskanen didn’t have a great season, but still think he can be effective top four D after a full summer of training. For Caps, this opens spot for Nick Jensen in top 4. Gudas has one year left on contract. So if Caps keep him, he probably is replaces Brooks Oprik (UFA).”
Ted Starkey: “Washington looks to clear cap space with some players hitting the open market in a few weeks, and will allow them a bit more flexibility with less term and cap hit without Niskanen on the roster.”
Stephen Whyno: “Last time Flyers got a defenseman from Caps it was Steve Eminger. The return? A 2008 first-round pick that became John Carlson.”