The Flyers were not going to sell Scott Laughton short at Monday's NHL trade deadline.
Six days ago, Laughton said: "I love it here in Philly, I love the staff here, I love the guys here."
He's staying here.
On Monday, less than an hour before the 3 p.m. ET deadline, Laughton and the Flyers nailed down a five-year contract extension with an average annual value of $3 million. The 26-year-old Laughton was set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason for the first time in his NHL career.
"I woke up this morning not knowing whether we would trade Scott Laughton or sign him," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said after the deadline. "That was the big decision today and we're very pleased that we were able to re-sign Scott."
With the Flyers underachieving this season, Laughton's name had become a popular one on the trade market.
He was valued highly by the Flyers — and justifiably so. Laughton has become a linchpin for the Flyers. He has gotten better and better, as well. In the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament, Laughton led the Flyers in goals with five. Over the last two seasons, the versatile forward has 20 goals and 24 assists (all at even strength) in 87 games. During that span, his on-ice goal differential at even strength is plus-20, second best on the Flyers to only Sean Couturier (plus-23).
"Certainly there was a lot of interest in Scott Laughton but we value him highly," Fletcher said. "The versatility he brings, the energy, he moves around your lineup, he contributes offense, he can kill penalties. What I found out the last few days kind of confirmed our own opinion of Scott — that he's a very valuable guy."
This season, the Flyers have taken a troubling step backward in their goal-prevention efforts. They entered Monday allowing the NHL's second-most goals per game at 3.51 per game. As they aim to fix the problem, the Flyers didn't want to subtract one of their better defensive forwards going into an important 2021-22 campaign.
"Scotty's a real good young man," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said last month. "He's fun to be around, he's very intense, he's got a bite to his game. For me, he's the type of player, as a coach, that you like to have. He can go anywhere from one of the top-six forward positions to a bottom-six forward position, in any role and not say a word and just play. He wants to win, he's a team guy and he's been very effective for us so far."
Laughton loves being a Flyer. He earned a raise from $2.3 million to $3 million and did not test the UFA waters. He has been in the organization his entire professional career, going back to 2013 after he was selected in the first round of the 2012 draft by the club. Laughton has built relationships throughout the organization and also recently proposed to his girlfriend Chloe.
"Definitely a little nerve-racking," Laughton said March 30. "One of the best days of my life, so just very thankful and grateful for my fiancee. She's been with me since I've been in Allentown, so it's been a long road for both of us. Just very grateful to have her in my life."
Two weeks later, Laughton and his fiancee were grateful to stay in Philadelphia as the deadline passed.
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