Defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere has been acquired by the Arizona Coyotes. Also going to the desert are the Philadelphia Flyers’ second and seventh-round draft picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Arizona is not sending anything in return.
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) July 22, 2021
Shayne Gostisbehere Traded to Arizona Coyotes
At 28 years old, Shayne Gostisbehere is leaving the only NHL team for which he’s ever played. The Flyers drafted the American D-man in the third round (78th overall) in 2012. “Ghost Bear” burst onto the scene in 2015-16 after starting the season in the AHL. In 64 games, he scored 17 goals and 29 assists while finishing second in Calder Memorial Trophy voting.
Gostisbehere continued to provide offence from Philadelphia’s blue line the next three seasons, with a career-high 65 points (13g, 52a) in 2017-18. He was also the quarterback for the team’s powerplay, with 106 of his 220 career points coming on the man advantage.
The defenceman signed a six-year, $27 million contract with the Flyers in 2017, which coincides with a drop in production. In his past three seasons combined, he has just four more points (69) than he did in his career year of 65.
What This Means For the Future
The Arizona Coyotes have completed their second trade in less than a week where they didn’t have to send anything back the other way. What the Coyotes did provide the Flyers, however, was cap space. Philadelphia now has $4.5 million more in cap space with which to work this offseason. It will come in handy, as they will likely look to lock down restricted free agent goaltender Carter Hart. But the Flyers also need a backup goalie with the retirement of Brian Elliott. Ideally, Philadelphia would like someone who could challenge 22-year-old Hart for the starter job after a disappointing 2021 season.
As for the Coyotes, they add another offensive defenceman to their blue line. Gostisbehere will join a defensive core with the likes of Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jakob Chychrun and Alex Goligoski. However, with the team seemingly in another rebuild following a coaching change and still reeling from losing draft picks, Arizona could make another surprising move. The Coyotes have nearly $25 million in cap space and a lot of roster spots to fill before the upcoming season. This is likely part of a long string of moves for general manager Bill Armstrong this offseason.
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