It’s trade deadline season for hockey fans and a flurry of trades are going on right now. For Flyers fans, all the attention is focused on who will be traded and for what. After all, GM Chuck Fletcher basically announced that just about anyone could be gotten if the price is right.
Well, Flyers fans will have interest in a trade that didn’t involve their team but did involve one of their divisional rivals. No, I am not talking about the New Jersey Devils acquiring Timo Meier or the New York Rangers trading for Patrick Kane. Nope, I’m talking about the division leading Carolina Hurricanes acquiring former Flyer defender, and fan favorite, Shayne Gostisbehere.
Ghost Bear, as he was affectionately called, was traded by the Arizona Coyotes to the Canes. Arizona will retain all of his salary for this season. In return, Carolina sent a third round pick in 2026. That’s right, for a third rounder three years from now, the Hurricanes acquired the offensively minded defender. It’s the second move in as many days for Carolina after trading for the problematic Jesse Puljujarvi from Edmonton the day before.
Gostisbehere, now a 29 year old, has played two years in Arizona after Fletcher traded him for…well., nothing. In return for taking on his whole salary, a second round pick, and a seventh round pick, the Flyers received “future considerations”.
This year, Gostisbehere has had a pretty solid year. In 52 games, he’s scored 10 goals with 21 assists. He did miss a few weeks in January and February with an upper body injury. It was worried that the injury may have scared off some possible buyers.
So, why did Carolina want him? Carolina has been atop the Metropolitan Division pretty much all season. They’ve only lost 11 games in regulation and, to be honest, would command a lot of the attention of the league if it wasn’t for the fact that the Boston Bruins are playing at an insane level this year. The Canes are second in fewest goals against, fourth in penalty minutes taken, and fifth on penalty kill.
However, if there is one area where the Hurricanes struggle, it is the power play. They rank 23rd in the NHL on the man advantage. This is an area where Gostisbehere can help. Out of his 10 goals this year, three have come on the power play and two have been short handed. Seven of his 21 assists have also come on the power play.
The Hurricanes are hoping that he can jump start their power play for the playoffs. If it works, he might be able to get them to the Stanley Cup Finals. Gostisbehere is a free agent at the end of this season. Is it yet to be seen if Carolina will re-sign him, but he could figure into their long term plans.
For Flyers fans, we will see him twice in March, on the 9th in Philly and the 18th in Raleigh.