Over the past two seasons, the Philadelphia Flyers have had a set group on defense. A group that one player, Shayne Gostisbehere, can’t seem to stay apart of consistently.
In Alain Vigneault’s first season, Shayne Gostisbehere seemed to be in the doghouse all the time. Whether it be benching or being pasted up on for other defenseman, Gostisbehere seemed to be out of favor.
This season, it has been much of the same. Being benched & passed up for other defenseman once again. Which seems to have been enough for Vigneault & the Flyers.
Today, the Flyers announced they placed Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers. A move that is very puzzling & comes with risk and little reasoning behind it.
Head coach Alain Vigneault said post practice the move was to give the Flyers move “flexibility”. Something Vigneault referenced was in attribute to cap space, as well as a roster spot.
But, if the Flyers wanted flexibility on the roster & cap space, waiving Erik Gustafsson would have been the move. Especially, since waiving either player would result in the same outcome.
No matter the player, Gostisbehere or Gustafsson, the Flyers would have gotten what they wanted. A roster spot & a cap saving of about $1M. Which, since both have salaries over $1M, is the most a team can bury on the taxi squad or AHL.
So, if the Flyers really wanted what Vigneault said post practice, why Gostisbehere? Why waive a guy that another team could easily claim?
Remember, during training camp, Vigneault said Gostisbehere would have a “clean slate” this season.
“Had a very good meeting with Shayne prior to camp,” Vigneault said on the first day of training camp. “We both expressed ourselves. He’s a very smart young man. He wants to play and wants to help this team win.”
Vigneault continued saying “he’s (Gostisbehere) going to get an opportunity. He’s got to prove himself obviously. I think for the first time since I’ve been here, he’s 100 percent healthy, which is real positive for him. He’s coming in here with a real good attitude.”
With Gostisbehere being inconsistent as Vigneault has mentioned multiple times this season, could this have been the easy way out? Could this have been the way to get rid of him?
GM Chuck Fletcher said last Wednesday the team hasn’t received many calls on players & teams weren’t looking for term & money back in deals.
“There doesn’t seem to be many teams out there willing to take on dollars or term at this point in time,” Fletcher said on Wednesday. “There seem to be more teams that are looking to move some pieces and take on pieces just for various reasons.”
This move on the surface makes no sense at all unless something comes from it. Where that be just the flexibility for a prospect to play or if this is Fletcher’s way of moving out salary, then so be it.
But, even if it is, its hard to justify you moving out your power-play specialist & a guy who has played top-pair minutes for no reason. Which, if Gostisbehere is claimed, a corresponding move has to be in the works.
So, the clock is ticking & come noon time tomorrow we will have our answer.
PHOTO CREDIT : Yong Kim – Philadelphia Inquirer