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Flyers’ Shayne Gostisbehere reacts to shooting at old high school

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The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday meant a heavy heart for Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.

The 24-year-old Pembroke Pines, Florida native spent two years at the high school before transferring his junior year to a prep school in Connecticut. He only learned of the horrible tragedy after receiving a text message from a friend and then watched the coverage at home with his girlfriend.

“They always say it [hits] close to home, but when it’s actually home it’s pretty tough to see,” said Gostisbehere, who grew up a 10-minute drive from the school. “I haven’t really processed it yet. I still can’t believe it. I was just in that school. I was only in there for two years, but I felt safe at that school every day I was there. Just to see something like that happen and to those kids and those teachers and whatnot, it sucks.”

[Canucks, Panthers hold moment of silence after Florida school shooting]

Authorities say that 17 people died in the shooting and 14 were wounded before 19-year-old suspect Nikolas Cruz was apprehended by police. Cruz has since been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Gostisbehere said he knew of one of the victims, Aaron Feis, a football coach who witnesses said used himself as a shield to protect students during the shooting.

“It’s your high school you went to. It’s obviously a tragic event,” Gostisbehere said. “These things keep happening. It just sucks.”

MORE: Anthony Rizzo leaves Cubs camp to be with friends, family in Parkland, Florida

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Flyers sign Carlo Colaiacovo

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In an effort to add some defensive depth the Philadelphia Flyers have signed veteran blue liner Carlo Colaiacovo.

Colaiacovo has appeared in 401 NHL games over 11 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings.

“Carlo adds depth to our defense,” GM Ron Hextall told Philly.com.

With injuries to veteran defensemen Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald, the Flyers have been forced to reach down the depth chart and use rookie Shayne Gostisbehere. On Thursday night Brandon Manning replaced Gostisbehere as the carousel on the Flyers’ blue continued to turn.

Colaiacovo had a goal and three assists in 25 games last season while with the Blues.

In total, The 31-year-old has posted 31 goals and 144 points to go along with 211 penalty minutes.

Colaiacovo was Toronto’s first-round selection (17th overall) at the 2001 NHL Draft.

Flyers’ Shayne Gostisbehere to make NHL debut

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Philadelphia defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will make his NHL debut tonight when the Flyers play host to the Detroit Red Wings.

Gostisbehere, 21, was recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday.

“(Terry) Murray took me aside and told me I might possibly be called up and he had to take me out of the lineup,” Gostisbehere told CSNPhilly.com. “I just waited for the call and got it and headed over.”

Injuries to veteran defensemen Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald presented the opportunity for Gostisbehere to be recalled.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Gostisbehere said Saturday. “A little bit [surprising] but injuries happen around the league. When your number is called, you jump up and do the best you can.”

Originally a third-round pick of the Flyers (78th overall in 2012), Gostisbehere was paired with Luke Schenn during the team’s morning skate. He also took shifts alongside Michael Del Zotto on the Flyers’ second power play unit.

“His skill, his skating,” said coach Craig Berube of what impresses him when watching Gostisbehere. “His skating for sure. I think his anticipation. He anticipates the game well, and I think that’s important up here. For a guy like him, his size and stuff … I thought he checked well with his stick.”

According to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News, Gostisbehere’s recall could be a short-term solution.

Seravalli reports that Flyers GM Ron Hextall was working the phones Friday looking to acquire a defenseman prior to the Gostisbehere recall.

“I can tell you I’m hoping to get a defenseman for a hell of a lot less than $2 million,” Hextall said, noting the team’s cap situation.

One name, which has been rumoured to be Philly-bound is Ryan Whitney, who recently signed in the KHL.

“Ryan is signed with a KHL team as of now,” said Paul Krepelka, the agent for Whitney. “I don’t want to comment any further than that – I’ll leave that up to Ronnie .”

Gostisbehere had two assists in three games in the AHL prior to his call-up.

Looking to make the leap: Shayne Gostisbehere

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The Philadelphia Flyers are always known as a team loaded with veterans, so when one of their young players pops up on the national radar it becomes a bit of a big deal. When it’s a player who plays a position the Flyers could use help with, their hopes sometimes take on a life of their own.

Such is the case for Shayne Gostisbehere — though he’s already proven he can excel.

The 21-year-old defenseman is coming off a national championship with Union College. There, he was the best player for the Dutchmen and made Flyers faithful hope that they had their next big thing.

Last season,  Gostisbehere had nine goals and 34 points in 42 games. While he didn’t win the Hobey Baker Award — that went to Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau — he was a finalist, and his performance in getting Union their first ever title (he had one goal and four assists in the Frozen Four) was exceptional as he was named Frozen Four MVP.

Shortly thereafter, the Flyers signed him to his first pro deal.

The Flyers snagged Gostisbehere in the third-round in 2012, 78th overall, and he’s anxious to show he can crack the roster right away. His up-tempo play and ability to control and carry the puck through all three zones could provide the Flyers with a weapon they don’t exactly have on the roster right now.

Take a look at what the Flyers are set to start the season with on the blueline: Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Michael Del Zotto, and Nick Schultz are the veterans who should figure to make the team.

Kimmo Timonen could miss a big part of the season with blood clot problems and Schenn, Grossmann, Del Zotto and Schultz don’t inspire a lot of confidence. That leaves the door open for Gostisbehere to potentially force coach Craig Berube to make some difficult decisions in training camp.

The likelihood is Gostisbehere makes a good impression in camp and spends most of the season in Lehigh Valley of the AHL. That said, anyone who saw him play college hockey last season knows what he’s capable of, and perhaps a peek early on in Philly is all he needs to show he can be a NHL player sooner than later.

Gostisbehere ready to bring fun to Philly blue line

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Shayne Gostisbehere is getting ready for his first training camp with the Philadelphia Flyers, and after getting a brief taste for the pros last season, he couldn’t be more excited for the coming fall.

The 2012 third-round pick of the Flyers was a star defenseman at Union College and helped the Dutchmen win the national championship this past season.

Now that he’s a pro, the kid who grew up watching tapes of Bobby Orr and making him his idol, wants to do the same kind of thing for Philly when they’re ready for him as Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com shared.

“The Flyers have a plan for me,” Gostisbehere said. “I’m all ears. I’m a sponge. I want to learn every day. I just want to give myself a chance to be on this team, not for a couple games, but for long term. If it’s a year in the AHL or two years in the AHL, then that’s what it’s got to be.”

At Union, Gostisbehere was an offensive dynamo on the blue line able to move the puck with ease through all zones. He had nine goals and 34 points in 42 games with Union last season. His adoration for Bobby Orr was very apparent as he led Union to its first title as opposing teams had trouble containing him.

While he may be a bit undersized at the moment for the NHL, his speed and shiftiness already has Flyers fans itchy to see what he can do at the highest level. Patience may well be rewarded if he can get the chance to grow his game in the AHL.