Flyers Place Shayne Gostisbehere on Waivers
Times like these leave the masses calling for action of any kind. You certainly got that on Tuesday from the Flyers.
Less than 24 hours after completing a comeback win over the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, in overtime, the Flyers made an interesting move, placing defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere on waivers.
Gostisbehere, who turned 28 in less than a month, is in his seventh season with the Flyers. This season, he has five goals and 11 points in 25 games with a minus-1 rating.
Even though the Flyers have seemed poised to have to do something in wake of the results this month, this move still came as a surprise. Alain Vigneault noted that it had to do with roster flexibility.
“Just gives us a little bit more flexibility from player personnel," Vigneault said. "I'm not sure about my lineup tomorrow, I'm not sure if he's going to be in. But if he's in, then he's in, and if he's not, then he's on the taxi squad.” Vigneault added that this was not in regards to any potential trade, but about providing some flexibility in terms of cap space and roster spots on the 23-man roster.
On the surface, the move doesn’t make much sense by itself. It is very likely that Gostisbehere and his $4.5 million cap hit go unclaimed and even if he were moved to the taxi squad, there isn’t much of a savings in terms of cap hit. In fact, the Flyers could have taken the same action with Erik Gustafsson, who makes $3 million and hasn't played in a week, and saved the same amount of money in regards to the current roster. It feels like this is just the beginning of something more significant for the Flyers.
GM Chuck Fletcher said last week that the makeup for the team was not right. Could there be a big move or significant trade waiting in the wings? It sure feels that way, even if Vigneault wasn't making any indication that it was.
If there is a team that will claim Gostisbehere, it could be the Florida Panthers. Not only do the Panthers have over $9 million in cap space, they just lost defenseman Aaron Ekblad to injury for the remainder of the season. Gostisbehere may not be on Ekblad's level as a replacement, but they have the space to make the move and fill his void with an NHL-caliber player. Gostisbehere is also from Florida.
For now, it’s a waiting game to see if Gostisbehere remains a Flyer beyond the 12 noon waiver deadline on Wednesday and what happens next as a result.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.