LA Kings: Evaluating a Shayne Gostisbehere trade as the LHD

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Flyers are reportedly making Shayne Gostisbehere available in a trade. Should the LA Kings get involved?

According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the Philadelphia Flyers are reportedly shopping defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. It’s not the first time his name has come up in trade circles, but it might be with regards to the LA Kings, who are in the hunt for a left-handed defenseman.

We’ve seen a couple of LHD come off the board in Mike Matheson and Joel Edmundson. Of course, the Kings will remain interested in the unrestricted free agents available on a bridge deal, but Gostisbehere is two years removed from a 13 goal and 52 assist season.

The 27-year-old’s offensive production took a serious hit in Alain Vigneault’s first year as Flyers’ head coach, scoring only 5 goals with 7 assists in 42 games.

"“That said, this is a player that recorded a 65-point season as recently as 2017-18 and has shown an ability to contribute huge numbers in the offensive end. A powerplay quarterback, he has twice received votes for the Norris Trophy as one of the league’s best defensemen.” – Pro Hockey Rumors"

Perhaps a change of scenery is in order.

Two years ago, Gostisbehere spent a good chunk of the season on the Flyers’ top defensive pairing alongside Ivan Provorov. In Vigneault’s system, he was demoted down to the second and third pairings before missing 10 games with a knee injury.

Despite the drop in production, Gostisbehere accounted for a 52.6 Corsi-for percentage but a 47.0 expected goals-for percentage. He doesn’t appear to fit the new regime’s system.

The Pembroke Pines native comes with a $4.5M cap hit for the next three seasons, so some level of certainty is needed that he can return to numbers previously posted. Under the old regime, Gostisbehere was terrific on the power play, quarterbacking the man advantage while scoring a career-best 7 goals in 2017-2018.

That year, he also tallied a career-high 116 shot blocks, but he’s been utilized differently since then, recording just 37 shot blocks and one power play goal last year.

light. Trending. Krug in Vegas would be a nightmare

I suppose it boils down to whether the Kings feel that he would excel in Todd McLellan’s system and what the cost would be to get the deal done. The Flyers have just $6.2M in cap space available this offseason, and they are without a third-round pick in next week’s draft. Perhaps taking on all of Gostisbehere’s contract in exchange for a third-round pick gets it done?