(Photo credit: Amy Irvin, 38 Photography)

(Photo credit: Amy Irvin, 38 Photography)

The Value of Radko Gudas

(Photo credit: Amy Irvin, 38 Photography)

(Photo credit: Amy Irvin, 38 Photography)

 

The value of Radko Gudas is something that Ron Hextall is going to have determine heading into the trade deadline. Gudas is a pending RFA and would likely have several other GMs bidding for him. The best news about being an RFA, there’s no rush to decide on determining what to do with him, one option the Flyers have is to keep him for a potential playoff run and, if they are blown away by an offer at the 2016 NHL Draft in June, move him then.

But first, let’s see exactly what the Flyers have in Gudas.

 

Via Hockey Viz

Via Hockey Viz

 

Radko Gudas has been on the right end of possession. He has a positive effect on most top players on the roster and many players end up on the wrong end of possession without him. Gudas has found a home in Philalelphia and been quite the addition to the team.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

 

The above two charts show the two players Radko Gudas has effectively replaced in the lineup, the player he was traded for Braydon Coburn and the player traded after his role was taken by Gudas, Luke Schenn.

Radko Gudas has become what the Flyers hoped Schenn would be. The two play the same style, they’re hitters who transition puck possession to offense and don’t suppress shots despite being billed as defensive defenseman. This bodes well for Gudas, with Del Zotto, he’s put up borderline top pair possession results, mostly via the increase of offensive chances. This is an improvement over Luke Schenn’s third pair results.

Compared to Coburn, Gudas is much more talented offensively, while actually poorer at shot suppression. But, Gudas’s gains outpace his weaknesses, his borderline top pair results are better than Coburn’s second pair results so far this season. Gudas is also younger, which is hugely important as the Flyers window for a Stanley Cup is probably not going to truly open until 2018 when super prospects like Konecny, Provorov and Sanheim join current phenom Shayne Gostisbehere as regulars in the NHL lineup.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

When it comes to comparable players, Brooks Orpik, Nick Kronwall and Kevan Miller come to mind as three players who play roughly the same minutes and use the same style of play.

Gudas is miles ahead of Orpik and Kronwall in terms of talent and results and very similar to Kevan Miller. Miller is slightly better at shot suppression, but Gudas is better overall by virtue of once again making it up on shot generation.

Is Gudas a true top pair defender? Yes, he is, but if top pair is defined as the best 60 in the NHL, he’s probably in the 50-60 range of top pair performers, and on a true Cup contender, he’d likely find himself as a three on the depth chart. Of course, if all goes well, he could find himself as a three in Philadelphia very soon with Michael Del Zotto and Shayne Gostisbehere developing into players ahead of him.

 

Now this begs the important question: what is Gudas’s next contract worth?

Orpik and Kronwall both signed mega money UFA deals that Gudas’s RFA status will preclude him from earning. Luke Schenn signed a 3.6M deal that’s expiring at the end of this season that likely compares better to Gudas’s value. The good news is, as someone who’s an RFA, Gudas cannot get any form of an NTC or NMC for next season, if this season ends up being a flash in the pan, Ron Hextall would be able to move him anywhere before July 1, 2018.

The next risk is that a hitting-shot blocker like Gudas runs a higher risk of injury than a skill player who avoids contact. Gudas already missed most of the 14-15 season with a knee injury. This would make a long term deal highly risky, especially if Gudas signs for 4-5 years and breaks down in the third year right as the window opens with Ghost, Provorov, and Sanheim.

If the Flyers are smart, Gudas takes a 3 year deal around 3.5M against the cap, it’s decent money and more importantly isn’t intimidating enough to trade. It also gives the Flyers insurance if Sam Morin doesn’t pan out at the NHL level.

Based on last year’s RFA compensation chart, if a team were to hit Gudas with an offer-sheet worth more than that, the Flyers would receive a first round and third round pick in 2017. And for that value, the Flyers could part with Gudas and use the newly acquired picks to find another player or open a roster spot for Sam Morin.