The suddenly-ascendant Flyers pieced together a somewhat busy trade deadline, acquiring a pair of depth forwards in Derek Grant and Nate Thompson to pad a playoff run, but things could've been much busier if rival executives had their way Monday.
One young Flyers player not named Shayne Gostisbehere was attracting a lot of attention as general managers circled the wagons before the deadline, according to a report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
That player? Scott Laughton:
Another player I heard a lot of teams liked: Philadelphia’s Scott Laughton.
'Chuck (Fletcher) couldn’t hang up fast enough,' another exec joked.
That's a great quote. I can see Fletcher laughing to himself, and quietly hitting "end call," when Laughton's name came up.
And it makes plenty of sense for Fletcher to shut down Laughton talks, on two fronts — both of which should excite Flyers fans.
For one, Fletcher avoiding temptation at the deadline means he has his eyes on the postseason prize. The Flyers, after Tuesday night's win (see story), are just five points behind Metro-leading Washington, with 19 games left before the playoffs. It would take a serious meltdown to miss the postseason, and it seems Fletcher feels like the Flyers can make noise in April (and May, and maybe even June?) so he stood pat.
Also, and this is probably a little more obvious: Laughton has turned into a young, sought-after talent in the eyes of league execs this season.
It's no secret that the 2019-20 season has been the best of Laughton's young career. He's already tied his career high in goals with 12, he's averaging a point every two games, and he's just 25 years old. The hard-nosed 2012 first-round pick is officially coming into his own this year, and he's still under contract through the end of the 2020-21 season. Really, it's an ideal development for the Flyers.
Is Laughton currently the kind of player who defines your team? Not just yet.
But he's become the kind of player other teams want, which is always a good sign.
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