Flyers Trade Radko Gudas to Capitals for Matt Niskanen

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Look at the Flyers thrusting themselves into the news cycle on a Friday morning.

They’re swapping defenseman Radko Gudas for Matt Niskanen, a pair of veterans going opposite directions in the Metropolitan Division.

Niskanen is 32 years old with two more years on his contract at $5.75 million per. Gudas is 29 and had one year remaining on his deal at $3.3 million.

There’s also this to consider, after the jump:

Gudas was the Flyers’ most consistent d-man last year and won the Barry Ashbee Trophy, an award presented to… the team’s best d-man.

Niskanen is a righty, a veteran of 12 NHL seasons who won a Stanley Cup in Washington. His two-way game is better than Gudas’ two-way game, but I’m not sure how much better this trade makes the Flyers. Niskanen is the better overall player, sure, but is two years of him at nearly $6 million dollars better than one more year of Gudas at 40% of that salary? Either way, they get a steady presence on the blueline for next season.

Here are his career stats:

So, uh.. what do we make of this trade?


16 Responses

  1. If he’s trying to make the Flyers a win now team…then I’ll take it. Like you said, Niskanen is the better player

    1. Except Niskanen is not a better overall player. A nice write up of the trade over at BroadStreetHockey broke down their numbers, & Gudas outperformed Niskanen in every metric save for goals scored. So we traded a younger, cheaper D-man for an older, more expensive, & (for the most part) less reliable one.

      1. “However, Niksanen’s 47.47% Corsi-For percentage at 5v5 is slightly worse than Gudas (49.38% at 5v5). Niksanen’s statistical profile grades him as an okay/average replacement to Gudas at best and as a poorer, older, and more expensive player at worst.” -Broad Street Hockey


        I’ll take niskanen. Ill take any change for that matter. Flyers need to find something different. Some sort of new chemistry

        1. AV’s system of possession with pushing the puck up the ice and then generating a cycle will suit Niskanen much more than Gudas. Niskanen handles the puck better and can make that outlet pass that will be needed to get the team out of the zone and up the ice. I’m not a Gudas hater, but I think this is a trade the helps the team in the short term and doesn’t hurt the long term outlook by saddling them with an overpaid long term contract.

        2. Amazing that someone would be so desperate for change that he’s willing to support a move that nets you a player whose projected *ceiling* is “average replacement” & whose floor is “poorer, older, more expensive.” That’s just idiotic.

  2. Fletcher has cap room and is just throwing it to teams in our own division. Nice trade Fletch, maybe we can trade Andy McDonald and retain 85% of his salary for a veteran over paid defenseman from Pittsburgh to help them with their salary cap issues. This team is doomed.

    1. If Fletcher went into free agency to get the defenseman he’d have paid more money and would have needed to go over 5 years. This is a two year deal and even the retained money on Gudas is only a million for next season. It still gives them cap flexibility next season and beyond. They aren’t stuck with another bad deal like the gave to Andy MacDonald when he was going into free agency.

  3. He’s the veteran defenseman they wanted and they didn’t have to overpay and extend a long deal to someone in free agency. He’s a right handed shot that can play 20 minutes a game on the top pair with Ivan Provorov. He makes the team better. Very good deal by Fletcher.

    1. Bingo, this is a short term deal on a proven veteran with a better two way game who can pair up with provy and is right handed. Let the other younger guys mature, Sanheim will be getting PAID mo fo’s just about the time Niskanen’s deal is up. How were they going to fit a UFA signing, Provorov and Sanheim’s deals long term? Who knows what they may have to pay Myers?

      1. I absolutely agree …now give Morin a chance over Haag and we may be on to something …cheaper, bigger, better skater and nastier

  4. I always wanted to like Gudas. He shows flashes of brilliance and is very responsible as a d-man, rarely gets beat out of position… But he takes so many dumb penalties I could never really get 100% behind him. Now he can drive cap fans crazy with his antics. Niskanen is a much better overall player and should help the team score goals, something Gudas really never did, at least according to my eyeball mk.1 scouting analysis.

  5. People really missing the fact that they need a right handed shot on the point and someone that fits the mold of mentor to Provorov on the first pair …good deal

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