Photo: USA Today
The Washington Capitals announced on Friday morning that the team acquired defenseman Radko Gudas from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Matt Niskanen. The Flyers will retain 30% of Gudas’ cap hit. The trade clears $3.395 million in cap space for the Capitals to spend in free agency and/or other deals.
Gudas, 29, posted four goals, 20 points, and a +6 rating while averaging 17:53 worth of ice-time per game in 77 games this past season. He averaged 2:37 worth of ice-time per game on the penalty kill, where the Capitals finished 24th in the NHL with an efficiency of 78.9% during 2018-19.
Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010, Gudas has posted 24 goals, 105 points, and a +11 rating in 416 career games with the Lightning and Flyers.
Gudas has one-year left on his contract with a cap hit of $3.35 million.
He recorded 133 blocked shots, 255 hits, 23 takeaways, and 59 giveaways this past season.
The Capitals traded Niskanen, who recorded eight goals, 25 points, and a -3 rating in 80 games in 2018-19, for some cap relief to re-sign star players over the next few years such as forward Jakub Vrana, who can become a restricted free agent on July 1; center Nicklas Backstrom and goaltender Braden Holtby, who can each sign a contract extension as soon as July 1; and captain Alex Ovechkin, who can sign an extension as soon as July 1, 2020.
The Capitals now have $12,480,706 remaining in cap space. Forward Brett Connolly, forward Carl Hagelin, defenseman Brooks Orpik, and forward Devante Smith-Pelly can all become unrestricted free agents on July 1 while Vrana, forward Andre Burakovsky, forward Chander Stephenson, forward Dmitrij Jaskin, and defenseman Christian Djoos can all become restricted free agents.
Gudas posted a goal and four points in 10 games during the 2019 IIHF World Championship for the Czech Republic.
In 15 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Gudas has just one point (an assist) and a -4 rating.
He will likely play on the third-pair with one of defensemen Jonas Seigenthaler or Christian Djoos next season.
From The Caps
The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Radko Gudas from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Matt Niskanen, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
“We would like to thank Matt for all of his contributions to our organization for the past five seasons,” MacLellan said. “Matt is a consummate professional and was a big part of our success. We wish him and his family all the best moving forward.
“We feel this move provides us with financial flexibility as we look for additional ways to strengthen our team. In addition, we are pleased to welcome Radko to our organization. Radko is a good defensive defenseman that plays a competitive, physical game.”
Gudas, 29, a native of Prague, Czech Republic, recorded 20 points (4g, 16a) in 77 games with the Flyers last season, his third career season with at least 20 points. The 6’0″, 204-pound defenseman’s 51.14 goals for percentage at five-on-five ranked first among Flyers defensemen and second overall on the team (Claude Giroux: 53.13) among players with at least 30 games played. Additionally, Gudas’ 202:06 total penalty kill minutes were the second most on Philadelphia.
In 416 career games between Philadelphia and the Tampa Bay Lightning, Gudas has collected 105 points (24g, 81a) and recorded 579 penalty minutes. Gudas, who was selected by Tampa Bay in the third round (66th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft, ranks fourth in games played by a defenseman from that class. Additionally, Gudas’ career 51.88 shot attempt percentage (6,487 shot attempts for, 6,018 against) at five-on-five ranks 23rd in the NHL among active defensemen with at least 400 career games since 2012-13, Gudas’ rookie year. Since 2012-13, Gudas ranks second among NHL defensemen in hits (1,484).
Internationally, Gudas appeared in the IIHF World Championship for Team Czech Republic, recording four points (1g, 3a) in 10 games. In 34 career international games, Gudas has 10 points (4g, 6a).
By Harrison Brown