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‘Ghost’ on His Time With Flyers, and Future with Red Wings

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Shayne Gostisbehere (AP Photo)
Shayne Gostisbehere (AP Photo)

Shayne Gostisbehere hasn’t played for the Philadelphia Flyers since the 2020-21 season. The defenseman was traded to Arizona in what felt like a change-of-scenery situation.

Gostisbehere, 30, now is in Detroit, looking especially to help the Red Wings’ power play. He signed in Detroit as a free agent in July after playing 134 games with Arizona and 23 games with Carolina.

Gostisbehere played 381 games over seven seasons in Philadelphia. The Flyers received money in the trade with Arizona.

“I had a few good years in Philly and then I think injuries really caught up with me,” Gostisbehere told the Detroit Free Press this week. “It’s just a blend of falling out of favor there.”

The Red Wings offer a good opportunity for Ghost, who signed a one-year, $4.1 million contract. Detroit’s power play ranked 17th in the league, so there is room for improvement.

Hungry Team in Detroit

“Steve [Yzerman, Detroit general manager] knew my strengths on the power play and that would be a big part of me going there,” Gostisbehere said.

“The biggest thing for me on a one-year deal is, I need to have the right opportunity to show what I can do. I thought it was a great fit.

“They’re a young, hungry team with a lot of skill, and that fits my game perfectly in the sense I like to play offensively, and when you’re surrounded by skill, it makes it work. I’m definitely excited for the opportunity.”

Gostisbehere scored 60 goals (27 on the power play), 159 assists (219 points) and was a minus-31 with the Philadelphia Flyers. He had 13 goals and 28 assists (41 points) for Arizona and Carolina last season.

Showcase Career With Coyotes

“Thankfully, I got a great opportunity in Arizona,” he told the Detroit Free Press.

“I got to showcase that I could still play in this league and resurrect my career, give myself another chance in showing people that I’m still a good player. It spring-boarded me into the opportunity with Carolina. It’s nice to have two good years in a row.

“Offensive [defensemen] get a lot of flak for their defensive side. Any coach I’ve gone to for the first time, they say, I’m surprised that your defensive game is pretty good. I’m like, ‘Yeah, because I take pride in it.’ I try to do the best I can.

“I know my better abilities are on the offensive side, but I am a defenseman. I’ve got to play defense first. For me, I try to prove that I am a two-way player.”

Of Ghost’s 311 career points, 140 are on the power play.

“I’m blessed to have a pretty hard shot,” Gostisbehere said. “I try to get it off as quick as I can and get pucks through.

“My grandpa will text me after every game. ‘Only two shots? What’s going on?’ He wants me to shoot every puck that I see. Obviously, the more you shoot, the more goals that are going to go in.”

Detroit makes its only visit to the Wells Fargo Center on Dec. 16. The Flyers play at Detroit twice (Dec. 22 and Jan. 25).

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