The Philadelphia Flyers have traded two of the longest-tenured defensemen on the team just three days apart.
Braydon Coburn was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday in exchange for defenseman Radko Gudas, a 2015 first round draft pick and a 2015 third round draft pick. On Friday night, the Flyers traded Kimmo Timonen to the Chicago Blackhawks for two more draft picks, one in 2015 and the other in 2016.
Coburn had played in only 39 games for the Flyers this season due to injury. He broke his foot, two separate times this season while blocking a shot. In those 39 games, he has one goal, eight assists, nine points, is a minus one and averages 20:14 of ice time per game. He isn’t known for his offensive ability, but he can skate, and move the puck up ice. Coburn isn’t very physical with just 56 hits on the season.
Coburn played at even strength, and he also killed penalties for the Flyers. He averaged over 3:00 of ice time per game on the penalty kill. The defenseman will block shots (56) and can log a ton of minutes. In his almost nine season with the Flyers, Coburn averaged 21:57 of ice time per game. He will turn the puck over (19 giveaways), which usually lead to prime scoring chances or a goal for the opposing team, since he or his defensive partner were caught out of position. A big plus is that he can play either side of the ice.
The Flyers needed cap space relief going into next season, and got some with the trade of Coburn. The will clear $4.5 million off the cap for the 2015-16 season. Ron Hextall, the Flyers general manager, doesn’t have much cap space to work with due to the bad trades, and contract extensions that former general manager, Paul Holmgren, made.
The other defenseman, Radko Gudas, is only 24-years-old, and only has a cap hit of $992,000 for next year. He becomes a restricted free agent after next season. He is 6’0″, 204 pounds and was drafted by the Lightning in the 2010 draft. Gudas is currently recovering from knee surgery, which will keep him off the ice for the rest of the season.
Gudas only played in 31 games for the Lightning before getting injured. He recorded two goals, three assists, five points, was a minus five, and averaged 17:00 of ice time per game. The young defenseman also blocked 63 shots, had 12 giveaways, and stole the puck nine times. Gudas played at both even strength and on the penalty kill.
The 24-year-old is not afraid to throw his weight around. He had 115 hits in just 31 games played this season. He will hit people either along the boards or in open ice. Due to his physical style of play, Gudas will try to throw opponents off their game. He plays an aggressive style of hockey, which could lead to taking more penalties than necessary. One area that needs improvement is his decision- making when the puck is on his stick.
The Flyers got ride of a contract to free up cap space for next season, and were able to get more draft picks for 2015, so it wasn’t a bad first trade deadline for the Flyers and Ron Hextall.