As the NHL lifted its roster freeze this afternoon, the Flyers had a trade to make official. After a bit of confusion surrounding which team would be sending draft picks, the trade became clear: Shayne Gostisbehere, a second-round pick, and a seventh-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for no return.
TRADE ALERT: We have traded defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, a second round pick in 2022 and a seventh round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft to the @ArizonaCoyotes. https://t.co/rYazFRoris— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 22, 2021
Gostisbehere, who passed through waivers last season, has two years remaining on his contract that carries a $4,500,000 annual cap hit. It’s been clear for a while now that the Flyers and Gostisbehere were no longer a good match, and giving the Coyotes a second-round pick allowed the Flyers to move Gostisbehere without retaining any salary.
Now more than ever cap space comes at a premium, and the Flyers had to give up a significant asset in order to get out of Gostisbehere’s contract. Paying a team with draft picks to take Ghost wasn’t how anybody thought his time here in Philly would end back when he was tearing up the league in his rookie season, but a combination of injuries, poor performance, and poor usage led us here.
Arizona will be hoping Gostisbehere can find his game in the desert, and for Gostisbehere’s sake, the move hopefully leads to an uptick in power-play minutes as well less time watching AHL defensemen from the press box.