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Gostisbehere Trade Unlikely Now, But Possibility Later for Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t have any luck trading Shayne Gostisbehere this offseason, but does that mean a future deal is off the table?

It didn’t ever feel as though moving Shayne Gostisbehere was a likely probability for the Philadelphia Flyers this offseason, but there were plenty of rumors his name was out there and available in a deal. A defenseman, who at one point was among the most feared offensive blueliners in the NHL, is now a player with an injury history who the Flyers can barely give away thanks to his drop in production and $4.5 million salary over the next three seasons.

Related: Another NHL D-Man Walks Away from the Game – Matt Niskanen Retires

But, according to Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic, while interest in Gostisbehere might not be high now, there’s a decent chance the Flyers revisit the idea of a trade and move the defenseman at a later date.

Suggesting Gostisbehere is still the “most likely candidate” to be traded if and when the Flyers decided to clear out a player to create salary cap space, he notes the Flyers might be simply waiting on the right opportunity to present itself or for the reality that the team will need to include a massive sweetener in the deal to go away. O’Connor explains:

“His deal is largely buyout-proof (the Flyers would save just $666,666 in 2021-22 cap space by doing so next summer), making a trade his most likely way out of Philadelphia. As injuries start to pile up around the league during 2020-21, perhaps a club has a change of heart and decides it needs another puck-moving defenseman.”

But, There’s Another Slight Problem

O’Connor also notes that Gostisbehere is closely connected to the news of Matt Niskanen’s NHL retirement. He notes that Gostisbehere’s situation is key for the Flyers because the front office knows after Niskanen hung up his skates, the team was left without one of its top-four quality defenseman capable of playing the right side. “”And perhaps a back-in-form Gostisbehere could fill that vital need,” he writes.

At the same time, there’s a bit of uneasiness about whether or not Gostisbehere can rebound. If he continues to struggle, clearing out his $4.5 million becomes imperative. The Flyers would need to find someone to fill that spot.

Next: Red Wings Will Look to Add, Lightning Might Be Trade Partner

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