November 17, 2016
Yes, you read that correctly. On the same day that Shayne Gostisbehere was named Philadelphia Pro Athlete of the Year, he will be sitting in the press box for tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets at Wells Fargo Center. Life comes at you fast.
In what sounds like a motivational tactic from Dave Hakstol, Andrew MacDonald will take Gostisbehere’s place in the lineup.
Ghost out tonight, MacDonald back in.— wayne fish (@waynefish1) November 17, 2016
Hakstol confirms Ghost a healthy scratch tonight: cites growth, development and accountability.— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) November 17, 2016
Dave Hakstol explaining why Shayne Gostisbehere is being scratched tonight vs. Jets pic.twitter.com/gG6OhsP4NS— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) November 17, 2016
From an on-ice standpoint, with the Flyers badly in need of starting a winning streak, this move doesn’t make any sense. Gostisbehere is a much better player than MacDonald, and now that he is finally paired up with Michael Del Zotto, Ghost finally had the chance to again play with the defensive partner that he broke out next to last season.
Gostisbehere sounded as surprised by the news as the rest of us:
Ghost said he was a little "taken aback" by the benching, but that he will turn it into a positive. #Flyers— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) November 17, 2016
As Broad Street Hockey’s Charlie O’Connor pointed out, perhaps Michael Raffl’s benching in Toronto last weekend (and strong response since being reinserted into the lineup) played a role in the decision. Maybe it did, but this decision by Hakstol is frankly a head-scratcher.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann