Shayne Gostisbehere is still a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. The 27-year-old defenseman was not claimed by any of the other 30 NHL teams and cleared waivers on Wednesday.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 31, 2021
“I can’t speak for the other teams –– maybe he is claimed, maybe he isn’t … We do believe that he’s going to clear waivers,” Alain Vigneault said on Tuesday afternoon.
Gostisbehere has 11 points (six goals, five assists) and is averaging 20:01 a game through 25 games this season. He is coming off of a down year in which he had just 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 42 games played.
Gostisbehere’s offensive play isn’t the worry, however. His defensive-zone coverage and inconsistencies with the puck have put him in the dog house a few times this season.
The Flyers have had a lot of defensive issues this season and there’s no doubt that Gostisbehere has been a part of that. However, he has played on the top pair at times and is one of the six most valuable defensemen on the Flyers roster.
“It just gives us a little bit more flexibility with player personnel,” Vigneault said of Gostisbehere being placed on waivers.
“I’m not sure about my lineup tomorrow –– I’m not sure if he’s going to be in. If he’s in, then he’s in. If he’s not, then he’s on the Taxi Squad and it permits me to have one more player available on our roster,” Vigneault continued. “It was just a question of a little bit more flexibility.”
Vigneault harped on the flexibility with the lineups and 23-man roster, but there had to be more than just roster “flexibility” behind the decision to waive Gostisbehere.
Nevertheless, Gostisbehere cleared waivers and will remain in the Flyers organization.
The Flyers will look to continue their winning ways tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. They clawed back from a 3-0 third-period deficit to win in overtime on Monday night. Hopefully, tonight will bring a better all-around effort from the Flyers in Buffalo.
Photo: Heather Barry Images