Philadelphia Flyers call up Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere

With the announcement coming through earlier today that the Philadelphia Flyers would be without the services of defensemen Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald for the next four weeks due to lower-body injuries, general manager Ron Hextall made the decision to call up defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere from their AHL affiliate, the Leigh Valley Phantoms.

Gostisbehere will be available to play for the team in tomorrow’s contest against the Detroit Red Wings at the Wells Fargo Arena, where he will hope to make his NHL debut. Gostisbehere played three pre-season games with the Flyers this year, recording two goals and one assist while also recording six shots on goal. After his strong training camp with the Flyers, Gostisbehere earned a spot in the AHL and has since played three games with the Phantoms, recording two assists.

With the injuries to MacDonald and Coburn, as well as the absence of veteran Kimmo Timonen, the Flyers are now faced with a rather peculiar situation where they have just three of their top six defenseman they hoped to dress for the season.

Hextall on the two injuries:

“You take two guys out of your lineup that play over 20 minutes, obviously it’s a big hole,” Hextall said according to the Courier-Post. “Other guys got to step up. I think Nick Schultz really stepped up for us and logged some good minutes for us. That’s something that I expected at some point but I don’t think a lot of other people did.”

Source: NHL.com

Ben Kerr on Gostisbehere, via Top Shelf Prospects:

“Gostisbehere’s main value is as an offensive defenceman. He has excellent vision and passing skill which he uses both to make a good first pass to start the rush, and to quarterback the play on the offensive blue line. A hard slap shot and excellent one-timer can not be ignored and draws penalty killing units to extend their coverage and respect his shot opening up plays for his teammates down low. He has good stick handling skills, and combines that with great agility, and the ability to walk the line to open up passing and shooting lanes on the powerplay.

Full article: http://old.lastwordonsports.com/2014/08/11/tsp-philadelphia-flyers-prospects/

In an interesting addition to this story, ESPN anchor John Buccigross hinted at the Flyers possibly targeting a veteran defenseman via free agency and that the move could happen as soon as this weekend:

Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier took to the ice as well today, skating 15-20 minutes with Chris VandeVelde, Jason Akeson and both Ray Emery and Steve Mason. After posting three points (2 goals, 1 assist) in his first three games, Lecavalier was sidelined with a lower body injury in a game against the Montreal Canadiens back on October 11th. The timeline was set for two weeks and Lecavalier has missed four games.

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