Just hours before the trade deadline, the Flyers seem to be at an impasse with a longtime member of the organization.
Do they keep Scott Laughton, signing him to an extension and ensuring his future with the team? Or do they ship him out with their playoff window rapidly shrinking?
According to TSN insider Pierre LeBrun, it sounds like Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher is going back and forth on the call, and might take it all the way down to the wire:
Interestingly, TSN's Darren Dreger noted that some teams in the mix for Laughton feel like the team is leaning towards keeping the forward:
Laughton, who turns 27 next month, has played 359 career games with the Flyers since they drafted him 20th overall in 2012, but his two-year contract ends after this season.
NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall took a look at where Laughton's career sits right now:
"Laughton could get an extension and be a part of the Flyers' future. He's only 26, he's a versatile forward, he's consistent, he's a relentless forechecker and he has 20 goals and 24 assists (all at even strength) in 87 games over the last two seasons. In that span, his on-ice goal differential at even strength is plus-20, second best on the Flyers to only Sean Couturier (plus-23).
"The Flyers will know his value and should only sell him high. They need to be knocked over by an offer from a contending team if they're going to part ways with Laughton."
Being knocked over by an offer is probably more likely as you get closer to the deadline and teams get more desperate to add a piece like Laughton. Is a first-round pick a "knocked-over" offer? Probably. But that might be too much to ask.
One idea among a segment of Flyers fans seems to be urging for Fletcher to pull the trigger on a deal and hope that Laughton could return to Philly in the offseason after chasing a Cup elsewhere this spring. There's obvious risk in that move — what if Laughton likes where he lands? What if another team bowls him over with big money in the offseason? — but the upside is you add assets now and wind up with Laughton back on your roster next season.
There's also a little buzz growing around the Flyers shopping 22-year-old Nolan Patrick, who has just eight points (four goals, four assists) in 40 games this year. Earlier this week, former NHLer and current NHL reporter Nick Kypreos reported the Flyers were shopping Patrick "hard."
And then on Monday, Crossing Broad's Anthony SanFilippo echoed the idea, saying Vegas is a possibility:
SanFilippo, however, noted that Vegas's acquisition of Mattias Janmark from Chicago was similar in structure to a potential Patrick package, making that less likely now than it was Monday morning.
The deadline isn't far away now, and Fletcher will soon have to decide one way or the other.
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