With the trade deadline fast approaching, it’s pretty obvious that the Flyers will be selling off pieces to make room for players to move up next season. The focus seems to be on moving out some defensemen so that the stock of prospects can start making their way onto the NHL roster. Players like Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim are expected to be NHL ready by next season; that’s if they aren’t already.
Recently, Radko Gudas has gotten a lot of attention. Not good attention. Since the All-Star break, Gudas has been a detriment. He has either struggled to play the same defensive game that he’s been capable of earlier this season, or he’s non-existent; after being thrown out of games for game misconduct penalties. Gudas has had some discipline problems in the last few games, taking his usually physical style to a new and unwanted level.
— The Fanatics View (@thefanaticsview) February 12, 2016
After a few sit downs with Coach Dave Hakstol and General Manager Ron Hextall, Gudas seems to have calmed back down. With Michael Del Zotto done for the rest of the season, Gudas has been logging heavy minutes. All season he’s been up there with the Flyers top defensemen so it wouldn’t be crazy to think a team going into the playoffs would want a physical defenseman with good possession numbers.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie said on a radio program that: “I heard some talk that thePhiladelphia Flyers may have had an offer on the table for Radko Gudas of a couple of second round picks. And maybe it was San Jose, who knows.”
That doesn’t sound like the kind of deal that Hextall would turn down. The Sharks could have pulled the offer after Gudas’ streak of sloppy play, or Hextall could think that Gudas is worth more. Shortly after that rumor, the Sharks dealt two 2nd round picks to the Maple Leafs for Roman Polak and Nick Spaling.
Maybe they got a better deal from Toronto.
The general consensus seems to be that Mark Streit is the most likely defenseman to be moved. Gudas is good, but a team may not want to risk his overly physical style and there’s no way you’re trading Andrew MacDonald. Surprisingly, despite the strong belief that Streit is the easiest piece to move, there are a lot of things going against trading Streit.
Streit, like Gudas in some way, has had trouble finding the game that made him one of the Flyers best defensemen. After a serious injury earlier this season that allowed Shayne Gostisbehere to break into the lineup, Streit has had trouble. He also has another year on his contract with a $5.25million cap hit. That’s a bit expensive for a playoff rental.
There has been interest in Streit though. Elliotte Friedman confirmed it when he did an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit.
Friedman also talked about the Flyers trade deadline plans in his latest 30 Thoughts.
“Philly can’t eat salary, as the Flyers are at the maximum three. The obvious name is Mark Streit, under contract for one more season at $5.25M and a no-trade clause. But there’s someone else.”
According to Sam Carchidi, he [Streit] would agree to go to one of 10 teams, but wants to stay with Flyers. The most interesting part of Friedman’s thoughts on the Flyers is the last sentence; There’s someone else.
The only other defenseman that might match Friedman’s extremely vague description is Nick Schultz. Schultz has one more year on his contract like Streit and has a lower cap hit at $2.25 mil. Schultz is also younger than Streit at 33 years old which may make him a more attractive piece. Schultz doesn’t have a no-trade clause like Streit does so Hextall doesn’t have to haggle with a limited list of teams like he does with Streit.
Flyers fans may be quick to say that no team would want Nick Schultz, but if they attach a printed copy of this article from Broad Street Hockey explaining why Nick Schultz has never been scratched ever, some GM may just be tempted.