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The Philadelphia Flyers have locked up one of their star attractions, officially inking defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to a multi-year contract extension.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that it’s a six-year deal worth $27 million, which works out to $4.5-million annually — or the relatively standard rate for quality middle-pair defensemen.
Six years is a significant investment for a player with just one full season under his belt, but Gostisbehere’s restricted free agency may have rolled around at the perfect time for general manager Ron Hextall and the Flyers braintrust.
The 24-year-old’s stock tumbled a touch last season when he failed to match his outstanding rookie campaign, scoring seven goals and 39 points in 76 games and even being scratched at times by head coach Dave Hakstol. This came one year after earning a Calder Trophy nomination for scoring 17 goals and 29 assists, and, in many respects, turning the Flyers’ season around in 64 games from the time of his initial recall.
Gostisbehere underwent hip and abdominal surgery in the few weeks that followed his rookie run, which could have played a factor in his second season.
“We all know of his upside, we’ve seen it,” Hextall said of the signing, according to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.
One aspect Gostisbehere did build on last season was his possession totals. He was a 52.9 percent defender last season after essentially splitting the even-strength shot share as a rookie.
The deal prevents the Vegas Golden Knights from reaching out during the upcoming moratorium with free agents around the league. It also effectively wipes out three potential unrestricted free agent seasons for the offensive wiz.
Gostisbehere was initially chosen in the third round, 78th overall, by Philadelphia in 2012.