Flyers acquire Matt Niskanen from Capitals for Radko Gudas

The Philadelphia Flyers traded defenseman Radko Gudas to the Washington Capitals for fellow defenseman Matt Niskanen, the team announced Friday morning.

Niskanen replaces Gudas as the veteran right-handed defenseman on the roster, and brings a more-decorated track record.

“We’re very happy to have Matt join the Flyers,” said Fletcher in making the announcement. “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 defenseman.”

Niskanen, 32, recently completed his 12th season in the NHL. He has played for the Dallas Stars (’07-80 to ’10-11), Pittsburgh Penguins (’10-11 to ’13-14) and the Capitals since the 2014-15 season. He has played in 125 playoff games and helped each team he played for reach the Conference Finals. He made the Conference Finals with Dallas in 2008, Pittsburgh in 2013 and of course last year with Washington.

The veteran defenseman is under contract ($5.75 million) for the next two seasons.

The Flyers are taking a bit of a hit financially in the deal as Niskanen (he Flyers also retained 30 percent of Gudas’ remaining $3.35 million cap hit for the upcoming season

It’s an interesting move for Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers, who completed his first offseason trade last week with the acquisition of Kevin Hayes.

Gudas was a good third-pairing, solid second-pairing defenseman for the Flyers. They are hoping that Niskanen can be a good second-pairing, solid first-pairing defenseman as they upgrade their blue line.

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