Well, well, well… the Flyers have stunk the past month, and that has led to fans and league experts everywhere thinking that Chuck Fletcher will be a seller at next week’s trade deadline. Because of this, a Flyers fan favorite has found himself on TSN Hockey’s Trade Bait List. Not only has Scott Laughton appeared on the list, but he’s also now climbed to #16.
Now, this makes sense. Laughton is on an expiring contract, can play everywhere in the lineup, and truly plays his heart out every shift. A true Stanley Cup contending team would die for a middle-six forward of Laughton’s caliber. It all just makes sense, except for the fact that the Flyers simply should not trade him unless the price is right.
Laughton’s Impact on the Flyers
Coach Alain Vigneault has said it all when explaining Laughton’s worth to the Flyers’ lineup:
“Scotty’s a real good young man,” the Flyers’ head coach 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.”Alain Vigneault; 4/3/21
Along with this, he’s both talented and plays with a ton of grit. Laughton’s playing style defines what fans love in their Philadelphia athletes. Every shift, the 26-year-old displays a forecheck that Philadelphia has lacked this season. He’s a team guy who knows his role is to be versatile and puts himself to any challenge that Alain Vigneault may need him to accomplish.
Laughton led the Flyers’ with five goals in the ‘playoff’ tournament last year. Also, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jordan Hall, “over the last two seasons, he has 20 goals and 24 assists (all at even strength) in 81 games. In that span, his on-ice goal differential at even strength is plus-21, second-best on the Flyers to only Sean Couturier (plus-28).”
What’s Laughton’s Trade Value?
Flyers’ Should Keep Him, Unless…
Look, the Flyers are a borderline playoff team. This next week, right before the trade deadline, they face off against the Boston Bruins three times and the Islanders once. It will be a huge determining factor if they are buyers or sellers come April 12.
Scott Laughton deserves to be a Flyer; he’s earned the right to stay in Philadelphia. He recently proposed to his girlfriend and has expressed his love for the city of Philadelphia and desire to stay local. However, at this point, almost every Flyer is expendable.
Laughton should not be traded unless the price is right. Chuck Fletcher should hold onto him unless necessary. With Jake Voracek and Nolan Patrick both potentially being exposed in the impending expansion draft, Laughton could be protected after resigning this offseason. His value to the team goes beyond his production on the scoresheet. Unless Laughton was being packaged in a deal for a pure goal scorer or a #1 defenseman that would put this team over the top, there is no point in getting rid of him for close to nothing to a contender. Just because the Flyers are slumping, they shouldn’t hit the panic button and dump Laughton for pennies.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre