Capitals send Niskanen to Flyers for Gudas in order to clear cap space

The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired defenseman Matt Niskanen from the Washington Capitals for defenseman Radko Gudas.

Philadelphia is retaining 30 percent of Gudas’ salary in the final year of his contract. Gudas counts $3.35 million against the salary cap. Washington will be responsible for $2.35 million.

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Friday the deal provides the team with financial flexibility. This sheds $3.405 million total for this season with the Capitals in need of re-signing a few key players.

The 32-year-old Niskanen gives the Flyers an offensive-minded, right-shot defenseman who can also help on the power play. He had 25 points in 80 games last season and is signed through 2020-21 at a cap hit of $5.75 million.

It’s the first significant move of the NHL offseason after the St. Louis Blues won the Stanley Cup.

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