Facing a salary-cap crunch, the Philadelphia Flyers essentially gave away defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.
The Flyers announced on Thursday they sent Gostisbehere and two 2022 draft picks, including a second-rounder, to the Arizona Coyotes.
Philadelphia isn't receiving anything from the Coyotes in return.
"This was a difficult decision but one we thought was necessary given the reality of the salary cap," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in the trade announcement. "Shayne has been a quality player for this organization since the moment he arrived in Philadelphia and has been a part of many special moments in his seven seasons as a Flyer."
Prior to moving Gostisbehere's deal, Spotrac projected the Flyers to have $9.4 million in cap space to spend on free agents and draft picks.
Gostisbehere has a $4.5 million cap hit in 2021-22, which would have been the eighth-highest mark on Philadelphia's roster. He also has a $4.5 million cap number in 2022-23, the final season of the six-year, $27 million contract he signed in June 2017.
The Flyers are trying to find the right pieces to get them over the top. They have alternated making the playoffs and missing the playoffs for the past 10 seasons, with the 2020-21 campaign being a miss year.
The Flyers haven't advanced beyond the second round of the postseason since reaching the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. They have several key roster decisions to make this offseason, including whether to re-sign restricted free agents Travis Sanheim and Carter Hart.
Gostisbehere has seen his production decline since setting career highs with 13 goals, 52 assists and 65 points during the 2017-18 season. He has put up just 32 points in 83 games over the past two seasons combined.
At just 28 years old, Gostisbehere could turn things around to show the form he displayed in 2017-18. The Coyotes are taking a low-risk, high-reward gamble to add him, and they got two draft picks next year to help strengthen their depth for the future.