The Ghost Dilemma
What to do with Shayne Gostisbehere has turned into an economic study. Ghost is a tradable asset, a good player who has had his ups and downs statistically. The 27-year-old has 5 goals and 11 points so far this season and looks closer to the player of his dynamic peaks rather than the disappointing valleys. It does beg the question why on earth should the team move one of the relative bright spots on defense? The expansion draft.
As of now, nothing is set in stone for the expansion draft, the forward situation is still fluid, but it is likely the team will expose big names like JVR or Voracek. Both are productive players, with JVR playing the best hockey of his life, and losing one of them would definitely weaken the team. But in either case, both player is over thirty, with fairly long and expensive contracts. In theory, the Flyers would have gotten the high production years from the players, while giving the lower production years the Seattle Kraken. More importantly, it opens up the cap space to allow the Flyers to resign core players and to chase free agents.
The situation defense is much more settled than with the forwards. Provorov and Sanheim are locked to be protected. Myers, who is not having a great year, would seem to be a virtual lock to me, especially the way Fletcher covets right-handed defensemen. Ghost is the odd man out.
Unlike JVR or Voracek, Gostisbehere is signed to a $4.5 million deal that expires after the 2022 – 2023 season. There is some controversy amongst the fan base as to the degree of how bad a contract this is, if at all. The fact is the contract is over 2 million less per season than JVR and almost 4 million less a season than Voracek, which means the contract will be easier to move in trade, something an expansion team would want.
If the Flyers are sellers, Fletcher faces the choice of getting something for Ghost today or alternately losing him nothing and also forfeiting the chance to reclaim cap space. If Fletcher is thinking at all about asset protection, which he may not be given the Mark Friedman give away, he needs to start looking for a place for Ghost to land.