Detroit Red Wings have a decision to make with Shayne Gostisbehere

Shayne Gostisbehere has been everything the Detroit Red Wings could have expected when they signed him in the summer of 2023. But is that enough to keep him on the team for another year or two?

Washington Capitals v Detroit Red Wings
Washington Capitals v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The Detroit Red Wings' signing of Shayne Gostisbehere to a one-year, $4.125 million contract in the off-season was widely regarded as a strong roster move. The Red Wings had experienced several years of minimal offensive production from their defensemen, and Gostisbehere was recognized as a quality offensive player. In the initial third of the season, he exceeded expectations, contributing significantly to the team's offensive output and proving to be a valuable addition to the powerplay.

Gostisbehere is currently on pace to lead Detroit Red Wings defensemen in points. Despite some calls to secure the veteran to a long-term contract mid-season, Red Wings' management recognized that making such a decision when a player's value is at its highest might not be the most prudent business move. As Gostisbehere will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, there is ample time for the Red Wings to carefully consider their options regarding his contract.

The former Calder Trophy runner-up (placing behind Artemi Panarin and ahead of Connor McDavid) has been traded multiple times, with the Flyers placing him on waivers in 2021. His defensive zone coverage and awareness have consistently been uneven, and he tends to wear down over the course of a full season. Weighing in at 180 pounds, he lacks the strength to win board battles, often being overpowered by larger forwards or outmaneuvered by their reach advantage.

Gostisbehere appears to be somewhat of a mirage, excelling in the counting statistics and primarily on struggling teams. Last year, he had the opportunity to join the strong Carolina Hurricanes, who were in need of offensive support from the blue line. Although he contributed a few goals, the team's playoff run was unsuccessful, and they ultimately chose not to re-sign him.

Detroit Red Wings have a decision to make with Shayne Gostisbehere.

Gostisbehere may have been available at the trade deadline this year, but Detroit was performing exceptionally well at the time, making it unwise to disrupt team chemistry. If the recent seven-game losing streak had occurred just before the deadline, it is likely he would have been traded for any return at all.

Nonetheless, they now have a solid player for the final fight for a long-awaited playoff position. Shayne Gostisbehere has been a valuable addition to the Red Wings' development. The rebuild is showing progress.

However, while Gostisbehere is a skilled player, he is not the answer for a team aiming to contend for the Stanley Cup. Furthermore, his current salary of $4.125 million is no longer sustainable, especially considering the need to sign players like Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.

Additionally, the team must prepare for the arrival of prospects like Simon Edvinsson and Albert Johansson in the 2024-2025 season. Although roster movement is likely, currently Justin Holl and Ben Chiarot are under contract through the 2025-2026 season and Jeff Petry is under contract for the next season, Gostisbehere's position on the team is the only one open for 2024-2025.

Therefore, Detroit Red Wings fans will likely thank him for a job well done, but opting not to re-sign Shayne Gostisbehere this summer is the best and most logical course of action.