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Why Bringing Back Shayne Gostisbehere is Crucial for the Red Wings’ Defense


The Detroit Red Wings, experiencing their most effective power play in nearly a decade, face critical off-season decisions, particularly concerning defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. Known for his substantial contribution, Gostisbehere is key to maintaining the team’s newfound competitive edge on special teams.

Shayne Gostisbehere’s Impactful Season

Joining last summer with a focus on enhancing the Red Wings’ power play, Gostisbehere significantly delivered, amassing 29 power-play points, highlighted by 27 assists, the highest by any Red Wing since the 2010-2011 season. His ability to generate offense from the blue line proved crucial, making him an instrumental figure in lifting the team’s power play ranking into the top ten for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

Shayne Gostisbehere Stats And News | NHL.com

General Manager Steve Yzerman expressed a strong interest in retaining Gostisbehere, citing his unique offensive capabilities among the defense corps. “He was very good on the power play. A little bit different in our corps, an offensive guy. You need to be good defenders, but you also got to have some defense that generate offense and play on the power play. He was good at that,” Yzerman stated, emphasizing the strategic importance of Gostisbehere’s skills.

Contract Challenges and Team Strategy

The challenge lies in the financials. Originally signed to a one-year contract worth $4.125 million, securing Gostisbehere for a longer term might strain the team’s salary cap, especially with upcoming negotiations for key players like Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond. Balancing these financial commitments with solidifying the defensive lineup is a priority for Yzerman, who also recognizes the potential need to carry up to eight defensemen to mitigate injury risks.

“Contract aside, it’s making all this fit,” Yzerman said. “One, fitting into the cap. I’m probably comfortable carrying eight defensemen. I thought we were very lucky this year; we didn’t have any significant long-term injuries on the blueline. D is a tough position to play — going back to get pucks, blocking shots. There’s a lot of injuries.

“I’d like to see if we can figure out a way to (re-sign Gostisbehere). He’s a valuable player for how we’re set up on the back end,” Yzerman noted.

Shayne Gostisbehere Detroit Red Wings

With six defensemen already under contract and upcoming talents pushing for inclusion, the Red Wings’ management faces a delicate balancing act. Ensuring the continuation of a robust defense capable of contributing both offensively and defensively will be crucial as the team aims to build on this season’s successes.

The decision surrounding Gostisbehere affects the immediate power play strategy and the long-term composition and potency of the Red Wings’ defensive capabilities. The outcome will significantly dictate the team’s ability to compete at a high level in the forthcoming seasons.

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Written by Jeff Bilbrey

Founder of Detroit Sports Nation - Jeff Bilbrey manages the day to day operations of Detroit Sports Nation as well as all content delivery systems, ad networks and social platforms. Email him at [email protected]

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