Flyers Trade Radko Gudas to Capitals for Matt Niskanen

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.

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. 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."

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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