Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has garnered Norris Trophy attention for his play this season, but his greatest assist is coming off the ice.
"Ghost" has invited the Florida state champion Marjory Stoneman Douglas High hockey team to attend Sunday's game at the Panthers, with a meet and greet planned with the Flyers before the game.
The Eagles won the Lightning High School Hockey League Tier 1 state title on Feb. 25, just 11 days after 17 students and teachers were killed in a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
"I thought it was pretty cool," Gostisbehere told The Intelligencer of the Eagles' title win. "Obviously the circumstances are a little rough.
"Just to see how they won it, they didn't win a game in the round robin and then they came back. ... The way they handled themselves, it was pretty cool to see."
After defeating Tampa Jesuit, 7-4, in the final, the students returned back to Douglas High, laying their medals at a memorial dedicated to the victims.
Gostisbehere, a native of nearby Pembroke Pines, Florida, attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas for two years, although he didn't play hockey there.
Still, he feels connected to his former school.
“I would say it always hits close to home, but when it’s your home, it’s pretty tough to see,” Gostisbehere said after the shooting. “I haven’t really processed it yet and I still can’t believe it. I was just in that school. I was only there for two years. I felt safe at that school every day I was there. Just to see something like that happen to those kids and those teachers, it sucks.”
With everything the students have been through, "Ghost" is hoping to help the team heal, even if it's just for a few hours.
"It will be cool to see them," he said. "[And, hopefully] just get their minds off everything they've been going through."