On Thursday, elite young Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere was named the Philadelphia Pro Athlete of the Year by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association.
Also on Thursday, Shayne Gostisbehere was told by Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol that he’d be watching the evening’s match-up against the Winnipeg Jets from the press box for some reason. Taking Gostisbehere’s place in the lineup? Andrew MacDonald, objectively (based on pretty much any advanced stats metric) one of the worst defencemen in the NHL.
If you’re wondering why a team that went 34-19-11 last season with The Ghost in the lineup after a putrid start would do such a thing, well, keep wondering. Hakstol’s explanation to the Philadelphia Inquirer didn’t really shed much light other than cryptic statements like it being an opportunity “to watch the game from above, which can help a young player.”
All off this is a nice gift to the visiting Jets, who’ve won five of seven and appear to have finally found their answer in goal in Connor Hellebuyck.
The Flyers and Jets face of at 7 p.m. in Philly.
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