Though it may not come as much of a surprise, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic confirms that Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers is available in trade talks as the offseason approaches. The team has “shown a serious willingness” to move Gostisbehere for the first time, even though his name has been in trade speculation for years.
It’s easy to see why that might be the case. Gostisbehere has fallen out of favor with the new coaching staff, seen his offensive production fall off a cliff, and still carries a $4.5MM cap hit for the next three seasons. The 27-year-old scored just 12 points in 42 games this season, playing the fewest minutes of his career and barely even getting into the Flyers postseason.
That said, this is a player that recorded a 65-point season as recently as 2017-18 and has shown an ability to contribute huge numbers in the offensive end. A powerplay quarterback, he has twice received votes for the Norris Trophy as one of the league’s best defensemen. No one would call Gostisbehere a shutdown defender in his own end, but he still does produce strong possession stats and may be seen by another team as a serious buy-low candidate.
Importantly, as LeBrun points out, Gostisbehere’s contract was also heavily front-loaded. That means the enigmatic defenseman will only actually earn $3.25MM in salary over each of the final three seasons, a lot less money than his $4.5MM cap hit suggests. For teams looking to cut costs while still remaining cap compliant, he may be a rather attractive target.