Says the Last Word on Hockey:
For all the good the Flyers have done, there is also quite a bit of bad moves that have been made thus far.
To start, the Kevin Hayes trade may have been a solid move, but the subsequent extension is questionable. The Flyers gave Hayes a 7-year contract with an average annual value of $7,142,857. This makes him the 20th highest-paid center in the league.
According to Evolving Hockey’s RAPM (Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus) model, Hayes was the 28th best center in the NHL last year. At 27 years old, Hayes is unlikely to get any better and overpaying a player for 7 years is rarely an advisable move.
Another puzzling move was when the Flyers swapped Radko Gudas and Matt Niskanen with the Washington Capitals. Gudas has a bad reputation with fans for his, at times, questionable physical play, but is actually a solid contributor on the blue line. The Czech defender chipped in 20 points in 77 games. He is a better than average defender and injects grit into any lineup. At a cap hit of just $2,345,000 Gudas provides value. Niskanen, on the other hand, is no such value. The defender scored more points than Gudas last year, tallying 25 points, but did so on a $5,750,000 salary cap hit. Niskanen used to be good for around 35 points a year, but those days seem to be long over as the defender enters his mid 30’s. There’s no metric that indicates Niskanen is superior to Gudas, let alone twice as good.