The Washington Capitals have cleared some much needed cap space, trading Matt Niskanen to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Radko Gudas. The Flyers will be retaining 30% of Gudas’ remaining contract, which leaves Washington responsible for just $2.345MM for the 2019-20 season. Niskanen meanwhile has two years left on his deal which carries a $5.75MM cap hit.
This deal has plenty of layers to it, but the most obvious one for the Capitals is how it gives them more operating space this summer. The team is dealing with a very tight cap situation thanks to some big contracts they’ve handed out over the last few seasons, and are carrying a $1.15MM bonus overage as well. With new contracts needed for players like Jakub Vrana and Andre Burakovsky there was always someone that would be a cap casualty. If it had to happen, Niskanen was perhaps the most obvious choice given the acquisition of Nick Jensen last season and his subsequent extension. The Capitals can move Jensen—or Gudas, if they choose—into the top four for a much lower price tag.
While he may come with a reputation as a player who sometimes crosses the line, Gudas has also been relatively underrated throughout his career. The physical right-shot defenseman is an excellent player in his own end and can effectively get the puck out of the zone. His possession numbers have been strong for years, and he has tallied more than 20 points three times in his career despite never seeing consistent powerplay time. While he may not be as experienced or as effective as a healthy Niskanen, he’s certainly not just a throw in for the Capitals.
For the Flyers though, a move like this is to get an experienced reliable veteran to help guide their young blue line over the next two seasons. Niskanen has averaged more than 20 minutes a night for the last seven seasons and has taken on all kinds of different roles throughout his career. Sometimes a powerplay quarterback, sometimes a shutdown defender, the 32-year old will come to Philadelphia with something to prove after a down season. Niskanen recorded just 25 points in 80 games, his lowest total since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. The Flyers will hope that’s not the first sign of a rapid decline, as he’ll likely be asked to play a huge role for them in 2019-20.
Wow that’s a fairly big start to the offseason. I’ve always thought he’s been a big unheralded contributor and a big part to their run last year.
Wow good trade for both teams
Wow, Tom Wilson and Gudas on the same team. DoPS can just have a remote office in DC now.
Niskanen would have been a good fit for the Leafs.
Shame they didn’t have a scrub goon third pair D man to offer.
hmm, sad to see gudas go, but niskanen is a great player.
forwhomjoshbells and how would that have worked with the cap situation the leafs are in needing to sign Marner, Kapenen and Johnsson. Tell me that one genius!
It so annoying how leafs fans always think any player should be on there team. I’m an Oilers fan and I don’t think oh man he would look good in our jersey . It’s annoying , stop it
Trade Nylander for a good young D on an ELC. Use the savings on the right shot D the Leafs have needed for years.
Dubas’stubborn insistence on keeping a redundant luxury already cost them their prime year of contention and will do for every subsequent year of their window until he realizes his team is too top heavy.
That’s cause nobody looks good in a oil jersey
too much money on that contract for the buds.
Robstara, how long before McDavid gets moved he’s frustrated and that team is going nowhere with that d and lack of a true #1 goalie.
yep many teams looking to trade top tier D on ELCs. lol
oh btw the leafs have a few in the minors if you just want to play that game.
Yes Nylander needs to be traded leafs have lots of cheap defence in the minors that would offset signing Marner and one of kapenen or Johnson likely with the other needed to be traded. I can’t stand Nylander he’s lazy and soft. However his value is low right now he’s signed comes into camp and gets off to a good start and gets moved would be the best case scenario. Unless there is a can’t miss offer at or prior to the draft. Clearly Marner is top priority . Moving Nylander another along with Marleau , Zaitsev who takes a month to make a decision in the playoffs on when to pass the guy is a nightmare. Going to be an interesting off season that’s for sure.
Could’ve swapped Zaitsev for Niskanen and figured out the rest later, or him and Connor brown for niskanen.
More money AND term. I wonder why the Flyers did this without asking for a pick.
Stolarz for Talbot….Gudas for Niskanen…. Who’s making these trades,Fletcher,Holmgren or Clarke?… seriously,why are we helping cap strapped teams without getting any draft picks in return?… Niskanen is a better name then Gudas,sure,but 4 years older,gonna cost us an extra 4mil,and comes with an extra year.Physical defensemen,turning 33,coming off a down year with a Stanley Cup contending team…. Really starting to think the Flyers confidence about attracting free agents might not be that strong.
No, the Caps are trying to SAVE money.
The Leafs best move would be to offer Nylander to the Avs for Tyson Barrie (assuming they can get him signed to an extension for less money than Nylander).
Considering Barrie is coming off a 57 and 59 point season, I doubt his asking price will be significantly less than Nylander’s $6.9m AAV. Shattenkirk got $6.65m AAV on his deal signed last offseason so I imagine Barrie’s camp would use that deal as some sort of baseline.
He’s an Oiler for a long, long time.
He will finish out his contract and move on. In my opinion . You don’t trade a guy like Conor McDavid. You don’t trade Ovechkin or Crosby, same for mcsqueezy
Why waste his good years the team is a mess. If the new gm cant get it going then time to go.
Anyone can be traded just ask Wayne!! Mcsqueezy lay off the booze bud
That’s true anyone can be traded but when’s the last time there’s been a Gretzky like trade in the NHL . You think this is Connor mcdavids good years ? Hard to believe but technically he’s not even close to his prime years .
I’m hear to talk hockey. That’s it.
I can smell the dirty in Washington from here.
That’s what we’re talking is hockey not your mcsqueezy nonscence. Those guys have won McDavid likely won’t win a cup in his career with Edmonton!
What I get from this deal is either Alain Vigneault or Chuck Fletcher value Niskanen more than anyone else does.
Yeah, Edmonton would be crazy to trade a guy like that, he’s a franchise legend and untouchable on the level of Gretzky…