Flyers trade Shayne Gostisbehere & Draft picks to Coyotes for cap relief

NHL: MAR 10 Bruins at Flyers
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 10: Philadelphia Flyers Defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere (53) readies for a faceoff in the second period during the game between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers on March 10, 2020 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

After the Seattle Kraken put a thorn in the side of Chuck Fletcher’s plan to relieve some salary cap pressure, the Flyers decided to take matters into their own hands on Thursday. The Philadelphia Flyers have traded Shayne Gostisbehere & 2022 second & seventh-round picks in exchange for $4.5M in cap relief.

The move isn’t surprising. Gostisbehere carried a $4.5M cap-hit and it’s one that a team who previously had around $9M in cap space really needed. They tried to expose all of their contractual heavy-hitters to the Seattle Kraken, but they decided to select Carson Twarynski instead, leaving the Flyers wondering what to do next.

As far as Gostisbehere goes, it’s a sad goodbye. He’s been around the franchise for seven years and has played in 381 games during that time. He ranked second on defense in points last year thanks to a mild uptick in his production on offense, but his lack of defensive contributions partnered with a huge cap-hit meant that the writing was firmly on the wall.

Ghost won the Barry Ashbee Trophy on two occasions and after a dizzying 2017-18 campaign where he amassed over 50 assists, he began to be troubled by a recurring knee injury. The downward spiral that followed involved being surprisingly waived by the team during the heart of the 2020 campaign, only to go unclaimed and return to the Flyers shortly after.

With the arrival of Ryan Ellis and emergence of Cam York, it’s easy to see why the Flyers saw fit to move on from Ghost after a wobbly 2020 campaign.

This is probably what prompted the Flyers to have to give up draft capital just to get rid of Shayne Gostisbehere. If he went unclaimed, it’s clear that teams didn’t want a part of his nagging injuries or monstrous contract. However, having to give up a pair of draft picks, one as high as a second-rounder is hardly ideal. It’s a move that fans will understandably kick back at until we at least see what the Flyers plan to do with that cap space.

There’s probably going to be a snowball effect in play here, so buckle up and let the offseason games begin!

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire