As the defending Eastern Conference Champions start the 2023-24 NHL season, they will reportedly be without defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour. Both will be recovering from separate surgeries, and both are expected to be out for about a month after the season kicks off. Needing another defenseman aside from Gustav Forsling to manage the offensive load on the back end, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports the team has an interest in unrestricted free agent, Shayne Gostisbehere.
A top-pairing of Gostisbehere and Forsling shouldn’t be expected to replicate the output of Ekblad and Montour, but those two would be serviceable for the first month of the season, and would even represent a superb top-four once Ekblad and Montour make their return. If the Panthers and Gostisbehere do come to an agreement, it will be interesting to see the term handed out, as the team currently doesn’t have any defenseman signed beyond 2024-25.
It wasn’t so long ago that Gostisbehere was considered a salary dump, after being traded along with a second-round pick in 2022 and a seventh-round pick in 2022, to the Arizona Coyotes for nothing but future considerations. After landing in the desert, Gostisbehere had an offensive resurgence of sorts, scoring 24 goals and 58 assists in 134 games with the Coyotes. At last year’s trade deadline, Gostisbehere was moved to the Carolina Hurricanes for a third-round pick in 2026. In a combined total of 38 games in Carolina, Gostisbehere scored three goals and ten assists split between the regular season and the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs.
- Once the market opens up on Saturday, it is expected that the New York Rangers will find their veteran backup goaltender rather quickly. Kevin Weekes of ESPN reports that Jonathan Quick will land with the Rangers shortly after the market opens. This season, New York employed Jaroslav Halak as their main backup, who posted a record of 10-9-5, earning a .903 SV% and a 2.72 GAA. It’s expected that Igor Shesterkin will continue to shoulder much of the load in net next season, but the Rangers have reportedly coveted an upgrade to their backup netminder.
- Frank Seravalli of the DailyFaceoff reports the modified no-trade clauses, as well as the full no-movement clauses that are kicking in tomorrow. William Nylander (Toronto), Jakob Chychrun (Ottawa), Brandon Carlo (Boston), and Christian Dvorak (Montreal) will all have modified no-trade clauses kicking in. Auston Matthews (Toronto), Mitch Marner (Toronto), and J.T. Miller (Vancouver) will trigger the full no-movement clauses in their deals. Lastly, Travis Sanheim (Philadelphia) and MacKenzie Weegar (Calgary) will receive full no-trade clauses.