Flyers GM: Being a healthy scratch ‘not necessarily a bad thing’ for Gostisbehere

AP
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Shayne Gostisbehere signed a lucrative six-year contract extension on Friday, two months after a difficult sophomore season for the 24-year-old defenseman came to an end.

Gostisbehere’s overall goal and point production dropped from his outstanding rookie campaign, and he found himself as a healthy scratch on a handful of occasions under the direction of coach Dave Hakstol — a development brought up again following Friday’s news.

On the day he got Gostisbehere signed to a contract extension (with an annual $4.5 million cap hit) Flyers general manager Ron Hextall defended his coach for his decisions to bench the talented blue liner, and defended his coach’s relationship with younger players in general.

That last point is interesting, because the Flyers seem committed to getting even younger in the short-term.

“But I assure you this year, next year, the year after, Shayne will look back on those experiences and [say], ‘I learned a lot from that,'” said Hextall, per CSN Philadelphia.

“That whole nurturing and this and that, sometimes there is a little tough love and Shayne got a little tough love last year and I’m sure if you asked him, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“Every player gets disappointed at some point in their career. You need to learn to deal with it. He’ll be a better player and person as a result.”

The Flyers have already seen that, when at the top of his game, Gostisbehere can be a dangerous, productive offensive defenseman.