This morning, the Washington Capitals have announced that they have done a one-for-one defenseman swap with the Philadelphia Flyers; Radko Gudas in exchange for Matt Niskanen, Philadelphia will retain 30% of Gudas’ remaining salary.
We here at FiCP are sad to hear this news about Niskanen leaving the organization, but understand the business move by Brian MacLellan. This is most certainly a move to clear up salary cap space to re-sign certain players or shop the free agent market. Trading Niskanen has opened up $3,405,000 in cap space for the Caps to work with, making it possible to re-sign guys like Nicklas Backstrom and/or Braden Holtby.
Gudas plays a physical game from the blue line and has been a beating pulse on Philadelphia’s penalty kill for years. Him being a right-handed defenseman certainly puts him on the 3rd pair with either Christian Djoos or Jonas Siegenthaler.
A plus side in this trade is that Gudas only has one more year on his contract until he’s a UFA compared to Niskanen, who has two more years. Gudas’ contract will expire around the time Backstrom and Holtby’s contracts expire, so there’s that. Who knows, GMBM could flip real quick and dish out Gudas to a struggling defensive team for forward depth or picks. Until then, welcome to the Caps Radko!
Lineup confirmed this morning states Christian Djoos is expected to be back in the lineup in for Brooks Orpik. He will be in alongside trade deadline-acquired Nick Jensen, who was traded by the Detroit Red Wings for Madison Bowey.
Djoos has a good two-way game and can contribute offensively very well, as seen throughout both seasons he has played with the Capitals. Orpik is a fantastic leader on and off the ice. His defensive prowess has been such a presence for the Caps’ defense core and being the oldest player on the team surely has an impact for respect. His time in the NHL, however, is coming slowly but surely to a close day by day and could announce his retirement from the league if not after this season, but the next few. A smart decision to start giving Djoos and Jensen a look at a 3rd defensive pair going forward.
Jensen has good speed and good puck mobility, which could compliment Djoos’ offensive blue line game. Looking onward, I see this pair together next season. I’m am personally very eager to see how the two work together.
Before the NHL trade deadline expired the Capitals added two new seasoned players to the roster- one to the fourth line and one to defense. Carl Hagelin flew in from LA to lift up the bottom line while Nick Jensen made his way from Detroit to add some might to the penalty kill. Tuesday they played in front of Capitals fans for the first time. Continue reading “The Hagelin and Jensen Add Grit to Capitals Lines”
Just moments ago, it was confirmed by Darren Dreger of TSN, and officially announced by the General Manager Brian MacLellan, that the Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Nick Jensen (and a fifth round 2019 draft pick) from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Madison Bowey and a future second round draft pick in the 2020 Draft.
Continuing on their path of improving the teams’ defense, the Caps have scratched Bowey in previous games, and while it did not seem to be a pressing issue per head coach Todd Reirden to acquire another defenseman, this could be perhaps a Michal Kempny 2.0 situation. Acquired prior to the trade deadline last season, Kempny proved to be a spectacular addition to the team, and won the 2018 Stanley Cup Final with the Caps just a few months later.
Nick Jensen, drafted by the Red Wings 149th overall in 2009 played three seasons with the team, averaging just 14 points per season (NHL). However, under 24 hours ago, Jensen, despite his name swirling around the league, had stated that he hoped he would remain with the team that drafted him, rather than be traded (Kulfan). Despite spending significant time in the minor league prior to making his NHL debut in 2016, Jensen averages around 17 minutes of ice time per night, and adds speed to the defense of whomever he plays for. At 28 years old and 190 career starts with Detroit, Jensen is a mature blue liner with enough speed and physicality to bolster the Caps defense. In 60 games this season, he has registered 79 blocked shots and 61 hits, similar to veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik and Dmitry Orlov.
(Pictured: Detroit Red Wings defensemen Nick Jensen, recently traded to the Washington Capitals)(NHL.com)
Madison Bowey, having played two seasons with the Capitals, recently found himself listed under the ‘healthy scratches’ more often than not. Despite a +3 rating, and scoring the first goal of his career, Bowey has struggled to mesh with the team, and has become the topic of criticism involving the Capitals defense (HockeyReference). At just 23 years of age, Bowey could certainly develop into a strong blue liner in Detroit, and become a household name for the organization, just as former Capital Mike Green has done. On the other hand, should he not find his ground in the Motor City, he could prove to be an NHL bust, and find himself back in the American Hockey League.
(Pictured: Capitals Defenseman Madison Bowey, recently traded to the Detroit Red Wings)
With a few days left until the trade deadline, there is the potential for more movement of players, but the Washington Capitals are on the hunt.
Official Caps Press Release:
“Nick is a reliable modern-day defenseman who we feel can defend well and log valuable minutes for our club,” said MacLellan. “At 28 years of age, we feel he is just entering his prime.”
Jensen, 28, a native of Rogers, Minn., recorded 15 points (2g, 13a) in 60 games with the Red Wings this season, which is tied for his highest point total of his career, set last season (15a). The 6’0”, 194-pound defenseman’s 50.43 shot attempt percentage (947 shot attempts for, 931 against) led Detroit defensemen at five-on-five among players with at least 40 games played. Additionally, Jensen’s2:46minutes per game on the penalty kill are the most on the Red Wings and his 165:53 total penalty kill minutes rank 21stin the NHL. Additionally, Jensen was on the ice for 42 goals at five-on-five, the second most on the Red Wings this season.
In 190 career games with Detroit, Jensen has collected 43 points (6g, 37a). Jensen was selected with the Red Wings’ fifth round pick (149thoverall) in the 2009 NHL Draft.
Prior to the NHL, Jensen appeared in 222 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL), recording 61 points (10g, 51a). Additionally, Jensen was a three-year player at St. Cloud State University from 2010 to 2013. In his junior year at the university, Jensen was named to the NCAA (West) First All-American Team and was named the NCAA (WCHA) Defensive Player of the Year.