Should the Flyers try to trade him?
Radko Gudas is a rare breed -- a hit first, ask questions later type of defenseman who somehow looks better via the numbers than by the eye test. In fact, Gudas actually leads the Flyers' blueline in Corsi Relative, posting a +4.90% in 52 games. He's also only 25 years old -- still in his prime, and young enough to be part of the next good Philadelphia team. While his contract expires at the end of the season, Gudas will be a restricted free agent, meaning that the Flyers should be able to retain him simply by extending a one-year qualifying offer.
So why would Ron Hextall considering moving Gudas? It's likely a combination of the aforementioned eye test -- he's inconsistent at best with the puck on his stick -- and the Czech defenseman's repeated discipline issues. Gudas has been tossed from three games this month, and racked up a whopping 54 penalty minutes in February. If coach Dave Hakstol and Hextall don't believe Gudas is capable of playing within the boundaries of the rules without losing his effectiveness, this would be the right time to sell high.
But his on-ice performance aside from the penalties has been solid, and he brings a skill set that none of the up-and-coming blue line prospects have. Unless a team is willing to dramatically overpay for Gudas, it probably makes more sense to hold on to him.
Will the Flyers try to trade him? And if so, will they succeed?
Apparently, Ron Hextall is receiving legitimate interest from other teams in Radko Gudas. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that an offer as significant as two second round picks may have been on the table at some point, implying that there would be an active market for Gudas if Hextall chose to shop him. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman noted the possibility of a trade, as well. It makes sense -- many teams still love having an old-school intimidator on the back end, and one who passes the stat test as well would be a unique and desirable talent.
But my suspicion is that Hextall is simply gauging interest in an asset, and is not actively trying to move Gudas. The defenseman's combination of youth, cost-controlled status and unique skillset will most likely keep him with Philadelphia unless another team blows the Flyers' general manager away with an offer.