Keep a Ghostly eye on December 27th

Created 2 years 241 days ago
by Michael DeNicola

Tags: Shayne Gostisbehere
Views: 1693


by Michael DeNicola

Monday, December 21st, 2015 --

TSN's Frank Seravalli shared this morning's edition of #MondayMustRead where he had this to say in regards to the Flyers and Shayne Gostisbehere...
"One team to keep an eye on when the NHL roster freeze expires on Dec. 28: the Philadelphia Flyers. Defenceman Mark Streit is expected to be ready to be activated from long-term injury on Dec. 27. That would leave the Flyers with eight blueliners. The Flyers don’t want to send down Shayne Gostisbehere - the fastest NHL player ever to score three overtime goals (17 games) - but GM Ron Hextall didn’t rule that out. Gostisbehere is the only waiver-exempt defenceman, and the Flyers don’t want to risk Brandon Manning or anyone else to claim. It seems unthinkable, considering the Flyers have earned a point in 13 of his 17 games, but Gostisbehere may be Hextall’s only option on defence. “We’ve got too many defencemen,” Hextall told reporters Saturday. “That’s the reality. It’s a good problem to have, but we do. We’ll wait and see how it plays out. We’ll have to make a move. We’ll wait and see what happens.”"

Hextall may come off non-committal, but as my friend Jeromy told me, "It is literally his job to be non-committal." Ron is not going to show all his cards, especially to the hockey media.
I'm hoping there's a plan. But at the same time, I'm not sure as I once was that Hextall won't loan Shayne back to the Phantoms. What we do know is...
1) Something has to give, otherwise the team is not compliant. Simply loaning Scott Laughton (another entry-level contract) won't be nearly enough to clear space for Gostisbehere. And Hextall won't roll with 8 defensemen on the roster.

2) Hextall won't be pressured by a desperate situation. It's what we love AND hate about him. If there is one General Manager in this League with big enough balls to cut a playmaker without breaking a sweat, it's Ron Hextall.

"But this ship can't sink!"

"She's made of IRON, sir. I assure you, she can."

Let's assume the worst. Let's assume Gostisbehere winds up on the Phantoms before the New Year. I seriously doubt he'll remain in Lehigh Valley very long for two reasons...
1) As we get closer to the NHL's trade deadline (Feb. 29th), teams will have banked enough unspent salary to afford trades. By then, the Flyers will have traded one or two defensemen... I would bet my house on it. That ought to open the door again for #53.
2) The Flyers simply won't be as good without Shayne Gostisbehere. Ron Hextall---in every practical sense---is shooting for a Playoff position. Ghost is a lethal offensive weapon, and this team ranks at 29th in goals-scored as is. He'll be back up. The question will be.... When?

"It's a good problem to have ..."

That's certainly subjective, Ron.


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