Philadelphia Flyers Final Player Grades: Shayne Gostisbehere

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

As the resumption of the 2019-20 NHL regular season becomes increasingly unlikely by the day, we can fully evaluate individual players from the Philadelphia Flyers. Today we grade out defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.

Buckle up, because this could get unpleasant.

While most members of the Philadelphia Flyers have seemingly enjoyed 2019-20 campaigns where they either stepped up their performance from last year or at least held steadily in line with the expectations that were set for them, defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has unfortunately had the kind of season that makes one doubt his place on the Flyers going forward.

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It wasn’t too long ago that Flyers fans were excited about the prospect of Ghost teaming up with Ivan Provorov as a 1-2 punch from the blueline whose skills complemented each other nicely, setting a foundation for a strong defense group that would also include Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers for years to come.

But it seems like you can throw the Gostisbehere part of the equation out the window now, with Ghost having suffered through another lost season that has driven his stock as low as its ever been, both in terms of any potential trade return for the Flyers and in the minds of fans who took to him so quickly when he burst onto the NHL scene five years ago.

But those five years feel like 500 now, after Gostisbehere has failed to hit the lofty heights that he did as a rookie in three of the four subsequent seasons. This year, he’ll end with a paltry 12 points in 42 games played, missing a chunk of time to have surgery for a knee injury that was clearly affecting him. He also spent time as a healthy scratch.

Ghost had me wondering months ago where we could possibly go from here. Ultimately, the Flyers had to hang on to him at the trade deadline, both for depth purposes (hoping he could return to form in some way) and because they couldn’t have added anything of much value for him even if another team wanted to roll the dice on Ghost and the three remaining years of his contract at $4.5 million per season.

Advanced statistics say that Gostisbehere should have fared better in the points department, but the fact is that he didn’t provide the offense that the Flyers needed from him in 2019-20. Ultimately, the results are what matter, and his impact was underwhelming. At least he didn’t replicate his hideous -20 rating from 2018-19, possibly indicating that he made some improvements in his defensive play, but his paltry five power play points on the year basically wipe out any progress elsewhere.

Sorry, Ghost, but it looks like both you and the team are in need of a fresh start in the near future.

D+. <strong>It’s always tough to see a talented young player struggle and fall out of favor, but that looks like what’s happened with Shayne Gostisbehere. The best course of action would probably be for the Flyers to explore a trade before next season, but they may be cheating themselves in that case since his current value is so low. Maybe a healthy Ghost can still recapture some of his magic, but two straight years on the downslide doesn’t leave much room for optimism.</strong>. D. Philadelphia Flyers. SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE

Next. Flyers Grades: Travis Sanheim. dark