The Carolina Hurricanes, not to be outdone by their Eastern Conference counterparts, have added another player for their upcoming playoff run. Shayne Gostisbehere has been acquired from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a third-round pick in 2026.
The Coyotes did not retain any of Gostisbehere’s $4.5MM contract.
If there is one thing the Hurricanes were having trouble with this season, it’s the powerplay. Their team is so well-rounded that they have lost just 11 games in regulation, but with the man advantage, they rank 23rd at just 19.37%. That’s only barely ahead of the Coyotes, a team that is generally considered to have some of the worst offensive skill in the league.
What’s the difference? Well, Gostisbehere, for one. The 29-year-old defenseman has always been a wizard at the top of a powerplay umbrella, slinging passes around and using a hard shot to create havoc in front of the net. To this point, 135 of his 301 career points have been a man-up, though just ten of those have come this season, as he has ceded time to Jakob Chychrun and others.
Still, the Hurricanes have used players like Gostisbehere very effectively in years past. Tony DeAngelo, for instance, put up 51 points in 64 games with the club last season before they cut him loose.
This is a masterclass in asset management and weaponizing cap space by Arizona, who acquired Gostisbehere in 2021, adding a second-round pick and seventh-round pick to take his contract off the books of the Philadelphia Flyers. He played good hockey for the Coyotes, was paid very little on a front-loaded contract, and then was flipped for another significant draft pick.
While the Coyotes will still have to prove they can hit on those picks, develop them and build a competitive team, this is about as good as it gets for a rebuilding club.