As the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline slowly approaches on April 12th, the Philadelphia Flyers announced on Tuesday morning that defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere has been placed on waivers.
The call comes on the hands of a playoff push, in which the Flyers only hope to be a part of. The Flyers, as of Monday night, are on two-game win streak after dropping their last four. The Flyers are currently seated in fifth in the MassMutual East Division with a 17-13-4 record.
Speaking further to the offensive defensemen, he is currently in the fourth season of a six-year contract he signed in 2017. The lefty is making $27 million with an annual average value of $4.5 million. At the time in which he signed, the Flyers also added in bonuses, with the potential to make up to $11,000,000.
In the first two years of his contract, Gostisbehere had earned $6 million, while in year three, he made $5.25 million. For the final three years of this deal, he was set to be making $3.25 million. Now 27-years-old, Gostisbehere has tallied five goals along with six assists through 25 games played.
Selected back in 2012, the Pembroke Pines native saw early success, recording 65 points in 2017-18. He did so while tallying 13 goals along with 52 assists in 78 games played. Since then, he hasn’t hit double digits in the goal column, while his points were a career low in 2019-20 with 12. These numbers were compiled in only 42 games.
As per Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the team placed Gostisbehere on waivers to try and clear up cap space to conduct a major deal. Speaking to the decision early Tuesday, head coach Alain Vigneault said of him joining the taxi squad, “It gives us more flexibility.”
While not touching on the potential of a trade, Vigneault said that he believes Gostisbehere will likely clear waivers. With that in mind, Carchidi tweeted shortly after, “Don’t be surprised if Ghost ends up back home in Florida with Panthers.” With Aaron Ekblad out for the season’s remainder, this would be a transaction to replace him and add pop.
With the Flyers, Gostisbehere started the season as a top-pair defensemen and soon became a healthy scratch. Returning to the team’s top-pair, he was shifted to the third pairing before Tuesday’s announcement. With 38 points at this time, the Flyers are a single point back of the Boston Bruins, who sit above them in fourth. That said, it’s worth keeping in mind that the Bruins sit ahead, holding three games in hand.