Flyers call up Gostisbehere, will debut Saturday against Detroit


Top prospect Shayne Gostisbehere will be called up and make his NHL debut on Saturday. (Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)

If you follow the Flyers, you knew this moment was coming. The signs were there last season and furthermore in the preseason. 

Top Flyers defensive prospect Shayne Gostisbehere will be called up in light of the injuries to Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald and make his NHL debut on Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Gostisbehere made headlines last season during the Frozen Four in Philadelphia. In the national championship game, Gostisbehere finished with a plus-seven rating, factoring in to all seven goals for Union.

In the preseason, Gostisbehere scored two goals and added one assist with the Flyers. With the Phantoms in three games this season, Gostisbehere has two assists.

Earlier on Friday, GM Ron Hextall said he would be using all outlets to find a replacement for Coburn and MacDonald, targeting free agents and talking trades. The most likely internal option was Mark Alt, who even had a locker stall in Voorhees this afternoon.

But instead, the Flyers opted to go with the most-anticipated prospect in their system. Hextall preached patience with the kids in the offseason. For the first three weeks of the season, he followed that plan.

Losing one defenseman, the Flyers had a backup plan – and Nick Schultz has filled in admirably. Losing two calls for a more drastic matter.

"In a perfect world, you let a kid stay there and play," Hextall said, "but we don't live in a perfect world so one of them has to come up."

Hextall said he wished Gostisbehere, among the other young players waiting in Lehigh Valley, had more games under their belt. But the Flyers also need wins and that forces the hand. If Hextall had to go there now, he went all out.

"Last year we signed an extra defenseman just in case we had guys hurt, and we didn't have anybody hurt and carried eight defensemen all year," Hextall said. "Now we don't and this happens. But, hey, you know what? Things happen. We're going to deal with it as a group and we'll do as good a job as we can as a management team to fill the holes for the month."

The Flyers host the Red Wings on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Kevin Durso is Managing Editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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