Shayne Gostisbehere could become one of the more under-the-radar free-agent signings from this past summer. The Detroit Red Wings gave the veteran defenseman a one-year deal worth $4.125 million this past July.
Gostisbehere, 30, once a top defense prospect, has enjoyed his fair share of ups and downs throughout his career, but he’s coming off an awe-inspiring season with Arizona and, eventually, the Carolina Hurricanes. The man nicknamed ‘Ghost’ gets another opportunity to showcase his offensive skill set with the Detroit Red Wings in 2023-24, hoping to secure a multi-year deal in Detroit or elsewhere.
The fleet-footed defender enjoyed a 41-point season, including 13 goals over 75 games last season. He recorded five goals and 15 points on the power play. This production came on the heels of a solid 51-point season the year prior with the Coyotes.
Last year, Gostisbehere played a touch under 21 minutes per night, maintaining a Corsi For Percentage of 51.4, to go with a Relative Corsi For Percentage of 2.4 during even-strength play. Notably, both metrics significantly increased following his trade from Arizona to Carolina. In his 23 games with the Hurricanes, his Corsi For Percentage skyrocketed to 65.6%, and his Relative number increased to 6.2. He also produced a reliable 1.6 points and 1.1 assists per 60 minutes this past season.
Gostisbehere recently talked about how he initially fell in love with the game of hockey ($), plus talked about signing a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
"“My grandfather is from Montreal so that helped, and he had season tickets to the (Florida) Panthers, so I went to every game and fell in love with the game,” Gostisbehere said during his introductory press conference with the Wings in July, after signing a one-year free agent contract worth $4.125 million. “My sister was a figure skater, so she was at the rink. My mom would give me a stick and I would run around the rink. “I played baseball, for sure, but I was all hockey.”“When you sign a one-year deal, you’re betting on yourself,” Gostisbehere said. “You’re trusting that organization and that opportunity that’s given to you.“I need to have the right opportunity to show what I can do, and I thought it was a great fit.”"
Veteran defenseman, Shayne Gostisbehere, looking to cash in with Detroit Red Wings
The newly signed Gostisbehere pointed toward veteran defenseman Olli Maatta when reflecting on his decision to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. He said, similar to him, Maatta fell out of favor elsewhere and looked for an opportunity to play and prove himself on a one-year deal in hopes of securing a multi-year extension. After a solid first season with the Red Wings, rather than trading Maatta to a playoff contender ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline, general manager Steve Yzerman extended the steady defensive-minded defender to a two-year deal that averages $3 million per season. Gostisbehere will have an opportunity to mirror Maatta’s route this season with Detroit.
The Detroit Red Wings needed to add a jolt of offense to their backend this off-season after trading away Filip Hronek at the deadline. Gostisbehere will see plenty of opportunities to be Detroit’s top offensive defender this coming season. He is expected to begin the year paired with Maatta, making up a reliable third pairing.
Maatta is a very sound defender and complimented the offensively gifted Hronek exceptionally well last season. Gostisbehere will see a ton of power play opportunities as he will likely anchor Detroit’s top unit, which also takes a bit of pressure off Detroit’s top defender Moritz Seider who will likely slide down to the second unit unless head coach Derek Lalonde prefers a right-handed shot on the point in specific situations.