PHILADELPHIA — This was likely in the works for a little while. The timing of it is just odd, if not really, really awkward.

For the first time in a meaningful game since he started playing games in the NHL, Shayne Gostisbehere will be a healthy scratch. The defenseman finished second in Calder Trophy voting last season and is the key cog for the Flyers’ second-ranked power play unit.

Oh, and Thursday morning he was named the Pro Athlete of the Year by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association.

“I was a little taken aback by it but right now I think it’s what’s best for the team I guess,” Gostisbehere said after he rubbed his face, perhaps hoping he’d wake up from a dream. “I can learn a lot from up there (in the press box). When I was injured the whole year (two seasons ago) that’s where I sat and I learned a lot. It helped me out my rookie year so I think it’s a good learning curve right now. It hits home and makes me work that much harder.”

Gostisbehere had struggled in his own zone for quite a few games this season. He was worthy of a benching a week ago, but last game he played one of his best all season despite a shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators.

“You can’t make too much out of it,” coach Dave Hakstol warned. “It’s not a small thing to have Shayne out of our lineup, yet I think it’s a good thing for him in his growth and in his development and a few things we’re asking him to concentrate on.”

Like what, exactly?