January 30, 2019 | 1:53am ET
By Anthony Di Marco, The Fourth Period

COULD THE FLYERS MOVE GOSTISBEHERE?

 
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Shayne Gostisbehere, defenceman

 
 

MONTREAL, QC — It appears all bets are off in Philadelphia. Aside from Captain Claude Giroux, whom General Manager Chuck Fletcher referred to as “untouchable,” it seems as though any player could be up for grabs if the price is right.

Names like Wayne Simmonds and Radko Gudas have been out there in trade speculation, but the trade chatter has reached over to the younger side of the Flyers’ roster.

According to a source close to the organization, the Flyers could look to move defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere. The source said he doesn’t “think the odds are great he gets traded before the deadline,” but suggested it’s “more likely during the summer.”

The news may surprise some, as Gostisbehere has been the backbone of the Flyers’ defence over the last three seasons alongside Ivan Provorov. But while Gostisbehere has enjoyed past success, including putting up 65 points last season, it is no secret he has struggled mightily this year.

Gostisbehere, 25, has seen his role diminish as of late. Currently a minus-12, worst amongst Philadelphia defencemen, Gostisbehere has found himself on the club’s third pair and off of the team’s No.1 powerplay unit under interim Head Coach Scott Gordon. Overall, Gostsibehere is on pace for his lowest career single-season point total, currently at just 20.

With a long list of young defencemen being groomed in Philadelphia, Gostisbehere could become expendable.

Travis Sanheim has already overtaken Gostisbehere on the team’s top defensive pairing alongside Provorov, while Robert Hagg is being relied on more in defensive situations (second on the team in defensive zone starts). Aside from Chritian Folin and Andrew MacDonald, Gostisbehere has the lowest defensive zone starts of any Flyers’ defenceman.

What’s even more troublesome is that Gostisbehere has lacked in his offensive game, which is usually his strongpoint. Provorov and Sanheim have generated more shot attempts than Gostisbehere, despite not having as much powerplay time and as many offensive zone starts.

If Fletcher does decide to go down the road of trading Gostisbehere, expect his services to come at a premium. Gostisbehere is in the second-year of a six-year contract that carries an AAV of $4.5 million, so any team that acquires him would have significant cost certainty. Considering this, if Gostisbehere is to be moved, expect it to be for a hefty return.

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Anthony Di Marco is the NHL Correspondent for The Fourth Period.
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