Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher has already shown that he's a man of action.
Early Friday morning, he made his second trade in a matter of two weeks, sending defensemen Radko Gudas to the Capitals for defenseman Matt Niskanen.
Fletcher acquired soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Kevin Hayes last week (see story).
Gudas spent the past four seasons with the Flyers while Niskanen has been with Washington since the 2014-15 season. In 2019-20, the 29-year-old Gudas will be entering the final year of a four-year, $13.4 million contract signed under former general manager Ron Hextall. According to a report by The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, the Flyers will retain 30 percent of Gudas' $3.35 million cap hit in 2019-20.
This season, Gudas won the Barry Ashbee Trophy for most outstanding Flyers defenseman as Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov endured down seasons. Gudas was a plus-6 and played smarter than he had in years past. He was suspended four times by the NHL's Department of Player Safety during his time with the Flyers.
Niskanen, 32, brings experience and a winning pedigree. He has averaged 22:31 ice time over the past six seasons in which he's compiled a plus-91 mark (see story). He is signed through the 2020-21 season with a cap hit of $5.75 million.
“We're very happy to have Matt join the Flyers," Fletcher said Friday in a release by the team. “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 defensemen.”
Matt Niskanen said #Flyers' defense has two or three young studs.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) June 14, 2019
Thank you, Nisky. For everything. pic.twitter.com/jU8bfhb74N— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 14, 2019
Originally the 28th overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft by the Stars, Niskanen is a veteran of 12 seasons with the Stars, Penguins and Capitals. He played in 80 games last season and was a minus-3 with eight goals and 17 assists.
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