Shayne Gostisbehere goes unclaimed through NHL waivers, stays with Flyers

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Jordan Hall
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Gostisbehere is staying put for now originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Shayne Gostisbehere is staying with the Flyers.

The 27-year-old defenseman went unclaimed through waivers Wednesday. He will likely be placed on the club's taxi squad for now, which, according to PuckPedia.com, will free up $1.075 million in cap space for the Flyers.

To just about everyone's surprise, the Flyers placed Gostisbehere on waivers Tuesday. If Gostisbehere was claimed, the Flyers would have gained $4.5 million in cap space ahead of the April 12 trade deadline.

"If Shayne clears waivers, then he goes on the taxi squad and we'll have more flexibility as far as the 23-man roster," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Tuesday. "He can still be on the 23-man roster and play. It was just a matter of having a little bit more flexibility."

General manager Chuck Fletcher could have some moves in the works. He at least has a little more cap space to work with now for potential additions.

More: Vigneault discusses sitting two young forwards and how the waiving of Gostisbehere relates to that

Gostisbehere has looked more like himself offensively through 25 games (five goals, six assists) after experiencing a tough 2019-20 campaign marred by knee injuries. Gostisbehere was selected by the Flyers in the third round of the 2012 draft. He stormed onto the scene in 2015-16 when he scored 17 goals as a rookie and put up a 15-game point streak, the longest ever by a Flyers rookie and first-year NHL defenseman. He delivered 65 points (13 goals, 52 assists) in 2017-18, the fourth most among NHL defensemen that season.

His Flyers career will continue for now. Gostisbehere has heard his name pop up in rumors over the past two NHL trade deadlines and offseasons. His name will likely surface some more as this season's deadline nears.

While NHL clubs do covet defensemen with Gostisbehere's strengths — which is why it wouldn't have been surprising if the puck-moving blueliner was claimed — teams right now appear to be apprehensive to add dollars. Gostisbehere is under contract for the next two seasons with a $4.5 million cap hit.

"It’s a flat-cap era and most teams are not looking to take on any money or any term right now," Fletcher said last week.

Gostisbehere entered Wednesday in a five-way tie for the second-most goals by defensemen since Feb. 24 with five. Only Darnell Nurse has more with six.

The Flyers have struggled mightily to prevent goals this season. They're allowing 3.56 per game, second most in the NHL. Gostisbehere was benched for three games earlier this month, with defensive play cited as the reason.

"It permits us to play Shayne or it permits us to have him on the taxi squad and maybe have one or two more options up front or on D," Vigneault said of the Flyers' decision to place Gostisbehere on waivers. "Shayne, like the rest of our group, has had some consistency issues — he's not the only one. But this move just permits us to do exactly what I said, it gives us a little bit more flexibility with the personnel that we have here right now."

Gostisbehere practiced with the club Tuesday. The Flyers face the Sabres Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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