It seems like so long ago when the Philadelphia Flyers fans were impressed by Shayne Gostisbehere. “Ghost Bear” leaped off the stat sheet as a two-way defenseman in the 2017-2018 regular season. In 78 games played, “Ghost” tallied 65 points and had his most physical season. Back in the 2015-2016 regular season, Gostisbehere was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. Last season was the worst of his career and this year, Gostisbehere is on pace for his least-productive season in Orange and Black.
Rumors have been swirling this season about the potential to trade Shayne Gostisbehere. The trick now is to find a team that sees value in “Ghost Bear” as he is reaching a career-low. In doing research, seven players have been named in trade rumors, but not much traction has been gained. Take this as a list of “wanted players” or “potential fits” as a player-for-player trade. Here are seven players that I’ve compared the monetary value and productivity value of a trade, followed by an overall take on if the trade would take place.
Let’s begin with the contract and value that Shayne Gostisbehere carries before the 2019-2020 NHL trade deadline. Gostisbehere is earning $4.5mil this season, which carries about $459k charged against the cap. With the cap space that the Philadelphia Flyers have leftover, the priority would be to take any trade under that magic number of $459k. There are a few players that can be had for that price.
This is where the conversation gets tough. A couple of teams would improve with Shayne Gostisbehere currently, which is hard to understand. The ultimate idea of trading Gostisbehere to another team is that “Ghost” just needs a change of scenery and could maybe get back to his 2017-2018 glory outside of Philadelphia. That’s the pitch.
Who To Trade For
More than likely, the Philadelphia Flyers will be looking to move Shayne Gostisbere for a forward. In that case, we look to Kasperi Kapanen and Ondrej Kase. Other forwards that are worth a look are Chris Kreider, Jason Zucker, Tyler Toffoli, and Brandon Saad. There is one outlier that will be discussed as one true defenseman that Gostisbehere could be traded for. The player I point to is Mattias Ekholm.
Book The Trade
Kasperi Kapanen (RW): Already, Kapanen nails the monetary value that the Philadelphia Flyers need to alleviate some cap space. Flyers would take on $326k in this trade, already benefiting. That is the most important part of the trade this season. In Philadelphia, Kapanen would be a second-line winger. With the Toronto Maple Leafs, Shayne Gostisbehere would be on the third pairing.
Mattias Ekholm (D): It’s unlikely the Philadelphia Flyers organization is thinking a defenseman for defenseman trade, especially with uncertainty about Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom’s future. In this scenario, $383k is what the Flyers take on for a defenseman. Ekholm would stabilize the defense even more, but again, it isn’t completely necessary. With the Flyers, Ekholm could be a first defensive pairing player. On the Nashville Predators, Shayne Gostisbehere would be on the second defensive pair.
We Need More Time To Think
Ondrej Kase (RW): Of all of these players, Kase is one that helps with the Philadelphia Flyers salary cap the most. The Flyers take on $265k, which is just lovely. My brand this season has been pairing Ondrej with his brother, David Kase. With the Anaheim Ducks, Shayne Gostisbehere would be on the second pairing. Ondrej would be a third-line winger in Philadelphia, but his ceiling could be much higher.
Chris Kreider (LW): If the Philadelphia Flyers could pull this one off, then Chuck Fletcher pulled the wool over the New York Rangers. The Flyers would take on $472k, just a little more than what they are paying Shayne Gostisbehere. A pro for the Rangers in this trade experiment is that they free $13k in space on this trade. In Philadelphia, Kreider would be a first-line winger. In New York, Gostisbehere would be on the third pairing.
Not Going To Happen
Jason Zucker (LW): For the case of Zucker, I don’t think that the Philadelphia Flyers are willing to put themselves in such cap restraints ($561k). The value doesn’t benefit the Flyers enough to make this trade. The Minnesota Wild benefit on the contract. In Philadelphia, Zucker would be a second-line winger. With the Wild, Gostisbehere would be a third pair defenseman.
Tyler Toffoli (C): On the other side of the spectrum, if Chuck Fletcher agreed to move Shayne Gostisbehere for Toffoli, the Philadelphia Flyers lose in every aspect of this trade. The contract switch benefits the Los Angeles Kings by $10k. On the side of actual productivity, Toffoli would be a fourth-line center in Philadelphia. “Ghost” would be on the second line pair with the Kings. The only way this happens is if the Flyers are desperate to part ways with “Ghost Bear.”
Brandon Saad (LW): Personally, this is a winger that I would love to see in Orange and Black. Now, here is why it won’t happen. Saad is the most expensive player ($612k) to pay for in these trade scenarios. He would be a second-line winger on the Philadelphia Flyers while Gostisbehere would be a third pair defenseman with the Chicago Blackhawks. With how handcuffed the Flyers are with the salary cap, Saad is going to stay in Chicago.
The overview of these players serves as a thesis as to why the Philadelphia Flyers should or should not attempt to trade. If the Flyers’ front office is willing to make a trade, I am positive that the trade will feature a pick and/or a prospect in an attempt to move Shayne Gostisbehere. With nineteen days left before the NHL trade deadline, time is ticking to make a move.
Mandatory Credit – © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports