Mailbag: Stay or go for Gostisbehere?


Shayne Gostisbehere skates during the Flyers 3-2 overtime win against the Kings on Tuesday. (Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)

Good morning, Flyers fans!

Thursday is Flyers Faithful Fan Thursday here at Flyerdelphia. This week, and every week, I will be taking questions for a mailbag. This is your chance to ask questions and have them answered.

Let's take a look at what we have this week.

Do you think Hexy is being overzealous about Ghost? Who are your most plausible trades for the Flyers with the circumstances? – Josh R.

I don't. I think Ron Hextall examined all the options and went with the best one for both the fans and the team. I would have liked to see Mark Alt get the call initially due to his experience in the minors, but Shayne Gostisbehere has been solid. You certainly can't tell he has just seven professional games under his belt. Just the fact he appears to be able to play at this level defend the decision. He may have been that ready.

The second question in interesting. I'd still say the most likely player to get traded to the Flyers is Edmonton defenseman Jeff Petry. Given his cap hit of $3 million, it's the most realistic at this point. Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers was in the mix, but his cap hit is just too high. They are the most plausible trades, but the chances of those happening are slim for me.

Do you see Shayne Gostibehere staying up with the Flyers the whole time that Coburn/MacDonald are out? – Ariel M.

I think Gostisbehere stays for the duration of the injuries to Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald. This is a great opportunity for him to learn and he hasn't hurt the Flyers in his first two games. It's a lot more bearable to watch Gostisbehere make a mistake than have one of your veteran defenseman do the same. He provides excitement and though there haven't been any points in his first two games, those will come soon enough.

Would you keep Ghost up or send him back when Coby/Mac are healthy? – Chuck S.

Tough question because I'd really need to see as much of him as possible. Contrary to what Hextall said on Saturday, I think this is a one-month tryout for him. I don't think the Flyers got to see as much as they wanted in the preseason, most notably how he will play against NHL forwards with tons of talent. So I'd want to see that before making any decision.

That said, I would have also preferred that Gostisbehere make his debut in, say, January than October. He could probably still use some time in the minors. But what really determines that decision is how the rest of the defense looks. If someone is expendable, the Flyers may try to find a way for Gostisbehere to stay.

Do you see the Flyers looking to reopen trade talks about Vinny with how well the 4 lines have been playing? – T.J. O.

That's an interesting question because I think there's one area where the Flyers are actually missing Vincent Lecavalier. The second power-play unit is a place where the Flyers could use a good shooter. Lecavalier showed a solid point shot last season and I'm starting to question R.J. Umberger's place on the power play.

But in terms of four-line play, it's hard to find a place for Lecavalier because of how well Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Chris VandeVelde have played. Bellemare is easily safe on this team, but VandeVelde was called-up as a rental. But he's scored a goal and assisted on another in his last two games. Hard to argue with fourth-line production. 

It's so tough to keep a player like Lecavalier out of the lineup and the contract is so hard to trade. The Flyers may try to, but I think they're stuck with him. In that case, VandeVelde goes back down and Lecavalier takes center on fourth line.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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