On the floor, Shayne Gostisbehere and Nick Ritchie don’t have a lot in widespread.

After his first NHL season, Gostisbehere completed one spot forward of Connor McDavid in Calder Trophy voting and was named a member of Team North America on the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Meanwhile, Ritchie scored 4 factors in 33 video games as a rookie and wouldn’t attain 15 targets till his sixth NHL season, almost eight full years after being drafted tenth total by the Anaheim Ducks in 2014.

Gostisbehere was a third-round choose of the Philadelphia Flyers again in 2012. At 5-foot-11 and 180 kilos, he’s comparatively small for an NHL defenseman however is a superb skater.

Ritchie (6-foot-2, 234 kilos) is among the heaviest gamers within the league. His hometown of Orangeville, Ontario is situated simply an hour northwest of Toronto, the middle of the hockey universe; Gostisbehere grew up in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

But Gostisbehere and Ritchie do share not less than one factor — and it pertains to how they each joined the Arizona Coyotes.

They have been wage dumps. Emphasis on have been.

These days, Gostisbehere and Ritchie seem like early candidates to be among the many most sought-after gamers on the commerce deadline subsequent March. They’re each set to hit free company after this season and would make sense as rental gamers for an entire host of contending groups.

It wasn’t at all times this fashion. Prior to the beginning of the 2021–22 season, the Flyers gave up two draft picks (together with a 2022 second-rounder) to dump the ultimate two years of Gostisbehere’s contract, which carries a $4.5 million annual cap hit. In return, the Flyers obtained “future considerations” — AKA, nothing.

The Toronto Maple Leafs paid an identical value (a 2025 second) six months later to maneuver Ritchie, who the membership had beforehand signed for 2 years at a $2.5 million AAV. Ritchie hadn’t been a slot in Toronto and the Maple Leafs additionally obtained depth gamers Ilya Lyubushkin and Ryan Dzingel from Arizona within the commerce.

Both Gostisbehere and Ritchie have since gone from being castoffs to a part of the principle forged with the rebuilding Coyotes.

“I lost my confidence a little there in Philly,” Gostisbehere advised Daily Faceoff after the Coyotes’ follow in Scottsdale on Saturday. “Getting traded for pretty much a used puck bag is pretty tough to swallow sometimes. Burns a fire in you a little bit to prove some people wrong.”

Gostisbehere, 29, has rediscovered his offensive dominance since first arriving in Arizona final summer season. He scored 14 targets and 51 factors in 82 video games with the Coyotes in 2021–22 and is off to a point-per-game begin by means of eight appearances this season.

Even on the finish of his tenure in Philadelphia, Gostisbehere was flying beneath the radar somewhat bit as one of many NHL’s best goal-scoring defensemen. But he’s taken that to a brand new degree within the desert.

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