It has become clear that the Philadelphia Flyers are going to be in for one hell of a fight this season inside the National Hockey League's Metropolitan Division and if they want a hope of fending off teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, and New York Islanders, they will need to be operating on all cylinders.
Unfortunately for the Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has simply not been his former self as of late and now that it has carried over into the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season it is hard not to see a trend. Gostisbehere recorded the lowest point total of his career last season, 9 goals and 28 assists for 37 points over 78 games, but his current pace this season with 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points through his first 27 games has him on track for an even weaker performance this time around.
It is hard to imagine that a player who was once as revered as Gostisbehere having such a hard time on this Flyers roster, and some suspect that there may be issues behind the scenes contributing to his lack of success as of late. According to Steven Ellis there is now a clear rift between this iteration of the Flyers and their once promising young star on the blue line. From The Hockey News:
What a difference two years makes. In 2017-18, Gostisbehere’s 65-point season earned him Norris Trophy consideration and he looked to be well on his way to becoming one of the NHL’s best offensive defensemen. But Gostisbehere has been a healthy scratch on a few occasions this season and is on pace for just 28 points, the fewest of his NHL career. His average ice time is the lowest it has ever been at 18:19, too, and it’s clear Gostisbehere and coach Alain Vigneault aren’t seeing eye-to-eye.
Ellis believes that Gostisbhere is a defenseman that could find himself a new home at some point during the season, although that would take a bold midseason trade on the part of Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher. Talk surrounding a potential trade involving Gostisbehere has reportedly gained some steam in recent weeks with Ellis naming the Habs as a potential destination for the talented blue liner.
Again from Ellis:
The Montreal Canadiens have been rumored to have interest in the defender over the summer and speculation of a trade has ramped up over the past two weeks with Gostisbehere spending a few games watching from the press box. A new home and a renewed opportunity could provide Gostisbehere with a spark.
The Flyers would be moving Gostisbehere at the point in his career where his value could arguably be the lowest it has been.