Niskanen to the Flyers for Gudas
The Washington Capitals traded defenseman Matt Niskanen to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Radko Gudas. The Flyers also retained 30 percent of Gudas’ $3.35-million annual cap hit. He has one year remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Niskanen was rumored to be on the trade block as the Capitals sought to shed salary. Cap Friendly indicates this move reduces their current salary-cap payroll to just over $70.5 million.
Assuming next season’s cap reaches $83 million as projected, they’ll have over $12 million to re-sign several key players. Those include pending unrestricted free agent winger Brett Connolly and restricted free agents Jakub Vrana and Andre Burakovsky. The Capitals are giving up skill in Niskanen but Gudas brings an affordable measure of toughness to their blueline.
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher intends to use his plentiful cap room to bolster his lineup this offseason. Niskanen will provide all-around defensive skill, postseason experience, and leadership to the Flyers’ defense corps. He’s signed through 2020-21 with an annual average value of $5.75 million. The Flyers can easily afford that cap hit for the next two years as they wait for their younger blueliners to improve.
With nearly $52 million committed to 15 players, Fletcher has over $30 million to worth with. I daresay he’s not done making moves this summer.