Ron Hextall said the Flyers wanted to keep defenseman Radko Gudas long term.
They got it done Thursday night.
Gudas, who was a pending restricted free agent, signed a multi-year extension with the Flyers. The deal is for four years with an average annual value of $3.35 million, team sources confirmed to CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio.
TSN's Bob McKenzie first reported the figures.
Hextall now has about $11 million in cap space, per generalfanager.com. The Flyers need to re-sign restricted free agent Brayden Schenn. Ryan White (unrestricted), Brandon Manning (restricted) and Nick Cousins (restricted) are all due for new deals and Hextall expressed interest in retaining all three.
Depending on those decisions, it appears Hextall will have little wiggle room in free-agent spending and offseason dealing.
“It’s hard to make deals nowadays," Hextall said this week. "Everybody says the same thing, it’s hard to make deals. So capped up."
Gudas, 26, had a rocky start to his first season with the Flyers. He was suspended three games for a hit on Dec. 1 and delivered other controversial and questionable blows that warranted a meeting with Hextall and head coach Dave Hakstol.
Following the talk, Gudas played a cleaner and more fundamental game, improving his play down the stretch and into the playoffs.
"I don’t want to say [the meeting was a] turning point, but it was a tough stretch at the time and I know I had to clean up some things," Gudas said at his end-of-the-season press conference in late April. "I haven't gotten anything after that so I think we did some good things."
Later in the season, Gudas was paired with Manning and the two formed a dependable duo.
“I thought we both played simple hockey,” Gudas said. “For us, we wanted to get the puck to a forward as soon as we can and we did our good defensive game straight. We tried to play as simple as we can and talk to each other so we were in better defensive position all the time. It clicked.”
Gudas finished with five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 76 games. He said he wants to improve in all areas and take on a greater role within the locker room.
"Next year is going to be my fifth year [in the NHL], so they’re going to want to see some leadership from the players, as well," Gudas said. "I have to be better and I’m trying to get better as a person to help the team."