Flyers unload Shayne Gostisbehere for cap relief

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers did not see any of their big names selected in Wednesday’s NHL Expansion Draft, but did trade away one of its well-known defenseman on Thursday to trim some salary cap space.

Shayne Gostisbehere was traded to the Arizona Coyotes along with a second and seventh round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The Flyers did not receive anything tangible in return from the Coyotes, but Arizona will take on the rest of Gostisbehere’s $9 million contract over the next two seasons.

“Shayne played really well for us not just last year but for many years,” Philadelphia general manager Chuck Fletcher said Thursday. “He was a model citizen…he’s a true professional, he was a very good Flyer so I really want to thank him for that. But our reality was pretty simple when you factor in the expected raises that [defenseman Travis] Sanheim and [goalie] Carter Hart will receive and we very much want to sign those two players. We didn’t have a lot of space left to fill the holes we needed to fill so we made the move we had to make.

The 28-year-old defenseman scored 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) and averaged 19:56 of ice time in 41 games this past season. Selected by Philadelphia in the third round (No. 78) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Gostisbehere is fifth all-time among Philadelphia defensemen with 219 points (60 goals, 159 assists) in 381 games.

He has scored five points (two goals, three assists) in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

“We are very pleased to acquire Shayne,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said. “He is a very good offensive defenseman and an excellent skater. He will be a solid addition to our blueline this season and will be a key power play player for us.”

Gostisbehere now heads to Arizona to hopefully continue his playing career and improve under new Coyotes head coach André Tourigny.

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