The Arizona Coyotes acquired Shayne Gostisbehere from the Philadelphia Flyers. The offensive defenseman has been in the rumor mill for years and will finally find his way out of Philadelphia. The Coyotes will also receive a 2022 second-round pick and a 2022 seventh-round pick, while the Flyers will not receive anything. Philadelphia GM Chuck Fletcher released a short statement on the move:
"This was a difficult decision but one we thought was necessary given the reality of the salary cap. Shayne has been a quality player for this organization since the moment he arrived in Philadelphia and has been a part of many special moments in his seven seasons as a Flyer."
After landing Ryan Ellis just before the trade freeze went into effect, it was obvious the Flyers would need to clear some money before the season started. Moving Gostisbehere accomplishes that, as his $4.5M cap hit will be going to the Coyotes.
Ever since he signed a six-year, $27M contract extension in 2017, there has been speculation about Gostisbehere’s future in Philadelphia. He burst onto the NHL scene in 2015-16 with 46 points as a rookie, finishing second in Calder Trophy voting, and followed it up with an up-and-down sophomore campaign. At first, the new deal seemed like a steal, as Gostisbehere racked up 65 points in 78 games during the 2017-18 season. Then things started to unravel, to the point where he was made a healthy scratch several times over the last two seasons.
This year, he had 20 points in 41 games, still playing a high-risk style that drove offense but sacrificed defense. There’s no question that he can be a valuable piece to a team looking for someone to contribute from the back end, but with the other options already in the Flyers system, he had become redundant.