Flyers

Flyers sign Radko Gudas to multi-year extension

Flyers sign Radko Gudas to multi-year extension

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."

Future Flyers Report: Joel Farabee's college career kicks off strong

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Christina Daly/NBCSP

Future Flyers Report: Joel Farabee's college career kicks off strong

With college hockey now underway, it’s a full-go on the Flyers’ farm. The Flyers have a decent number of NCAA prospects, so this week’s Future Flyers Report will feature college players.

The Flyers have three games this week — Tuesday against Florida, Thursday at Columbus and Saturday against the Devils. Before this week begins, let’s check up on the Flyers’ prospects.

• Hockey East will be a conference Flyers fans will want to keep a close eye on with 2018 first-round picks Joel Farabee (Boston University) and Jay O’Brien (Providence College) in it.

Farabee’s career began Friday when No. 8 BU opened with a weekend series at No. 11 Minnesota State. Farabee was scoreless with a penalty Friday but scored his first goal Saturday.

With the Terriers down 3-0, Farabee called a shorthanded goal in an effort that should excite Flyers fans. He broke up a play in the defensive zone, tripped head-first and still won a foot race for the puck before depositing it into the cage with a nifty little move in tight.

Farabee was touted as a two-way winger, and the type of effort he showed on his first college goal is an example as for why scouts were high on him. He has the potential to be not only a top-six winger but a really effective penalty killer. Both things that the Flyers desperately need.

• As for O’Brien, he has yet to register a point in three games with Providence but has seven shots on target, including four in the Friars’ last game Saturday, a 3-0 loss to No. 2 Notre Dame.

• We wrote about Wyatt Kalynuk this summer, asking: “Have the Flyers found the late-round gem they covet in Wyatt Kalynuk?” This came after a tremendous freshman year at Wisconsin.

Kalynuk’s sophomore season kicked off with a bang with a two-goal, three-point, plus-5 effort Saturday night in the Badgers’ 7-5 win over Boston College to complete the weekend sweep.

Per the Wisconsin State Journal’s Todd Milewski, Kalynuk and his partner Tyler Inamoto became the first Badgers to finish as a plus-5 since Kyle Klubertanz did Jan. 12, 2008.

• Noah Cates’ collegiate career has gotten off to a solid start at Minnesota-Duluth. Cates has centered the team’s third line and has a goal and two assists in four games this season.

My linemate Jordan Hall profiled Cates this summer here.

• Tanner Laczynski has two assists in two games into his junior season. ESPN recently had Laczynski on its Hobey Baker award watch list.

• Wade Allison has yet to play this season for Western Michigan as he recovers from a torn ACL.

Quick hits
• Morgan Frost, still pretty good at hockey. Frost has points in all but two games this season. He had back-to-back three-point efforts last Wednesday and Friday. He has 15 points in 10 games.

• Isaac Ratcliffe has seven goals and 13 points in nine games this season. He has points in all but one game, had a five-game goal streak end Thursday and is currently on a seven-game point streak.

• Carter Hart’s pro career has gotten off to an up-and-down start. He was strong in his first game, stopping 31 of 34 shots in a win but then allowed four goals on 16 shots last Wednesday.

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Flyers stock watch: Scott Laughton seeing increased production, ice time

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USA Today Images

Flyers stock watch: Scott Laughton seeing increased production, ice time

After a 1-0 loss to the Golden Knights on Saturday, the Flyers find themselves with a 2-3-0 mark through five games.

Who are the risers and fallers in our weekly stock watch? 

Stock up

Scott Laughton
Laughton’s three even strength goals leads the Flyers through five games. Starting the season on the fourth line, Laughton has also seen an increase in ice time as he’s jumped up to play with Mikhail Vorobyev and Wayne Simmonds. The left winger has also proven to be an invaluable contributor on the Flyers’ penalty kill leading all forwards in PK minutes. Saturday against the Golden Knights, Laughton’s aggressiveness led to a shorthanded breakaway. If Oskar Lindblom misses significant time, Laughton may even jump up to the Flyers’ second line once Nolan Patrick returns.

Radko Gudas
Radko Gudas should have no concerns that he’ll be replaced by Christian Folin anytime soon after Folin’s poor performance in Colorado. Gudas has not only contributed offensively with three assists in a 7-4 win in Ottawa but he’s been a steadying presence for Travis Sanheim, who is starting to develop a cohesion with Gudas as the team’s third defensive pairing. While he may be a below average puck mover, the puck possession metrics also favor Gudas despite starting a majority of his shifts in the defensive zone. 

Dale Weise
Weise started the season as the Flyers’ 14th forward and appeared to be a healthy scratch until injuries and ineffectiveness forced Dave Hakstol to utilize the 30-year-old winger. To Weise’s credit, he's effective when he plays with an edge, which he has done in his past two games. He has the speed to jump in hard and strong on the forecheck, creating takeaways and giving the Flyers’ fourth line a spark and some much-needed energy. Weise recorded two assists against Ottawa for his first multi-point effort in his last 47 games.  

Stock down

Andrew MacDonald
It’s been a slow start for MacDonald, who revealed on Friday that he’s not playing at 100 percent after coming back early from an offseason injury sustained prior to training camp. MacDonald also believes the two preseason games he played may have been premature. As a result, the Flyers’ defenseman has struggled in the first week and a half, allowing a team-high six goals at even strength. The MacDonald-Hagg pairing has also yielded a lot of time in the Flyers’ zone and a significant amount of shots on net.

Travis Konecny
Two games into the season, Dave Hakstol was ready to abandon Konecny’s role on the top line with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux. Konecny’s ice time has taken a direct hit, playing nearly 16 minutes in the opener in Vegas to just under 12 minutes in each of his past two games. With just one assist in his first five games, Konecny doesn’t seem to be playing with the same degree of confidence he had at the end of last season when he scored 18 goals over a 33-game span. He still hasn’t weeded out the high-risk plays that can lead to opposition scoring chances.

Nolan Patrick
For a player that many expected a big sophomore season out of, it’s been a tough start for Patrick. He didn’t have a strong preseason and it appears it has carried over into the start of the regular season. Patrick left the game in Ottawa in the first period with an upper-body injury and never returned. Prior to that game, Patrick was a minus-5 over his first three games, failing to register a point centering a line with Oskar Lindblom and Jake Voracek. We haven’t seen the jump and assertiveness in Patrick’s game that we saw when he finished his rookie campaign strong.

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