Next month is the NHL Trade Deadline!
Sean Walker will be a hot name to watch as the NHL Trade Deadline approaches. Along with him is another teammate who’ll be a target for other general managers.
On Wednesday, a blockbuster deal between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames took place. The Canucks acquired Elias Lindholm in exchange for Andrei Kuzmenko, Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo, a 2024 first-round pick, and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick if Vancouver makes the NHL Western Conference Finals.
After Lindholm was the first domino to fall, the market for centers began to thin. Darren Dreger reported Daniel Briere is taking calls on Scott Laughton, gauging interest. Briere won’t make trades for the sake of making them, so there’s no guarantee:
“We’re not going to make trades just to make trades. If there’s something that makes sense that we feel makes us better for the future, we’ll strongly consider it. The one thing that I won’t be doing is, I won’t be trading prime assets just to make a run.”Daniel Briere; 1/24/24
Briere is willing to listen to offers and make moves right for the future.
Lindholm Sets the Market
The return on Lindholm was massive. Although the first-round pick from the Canucks won’t be toward the front of the order, Brzustewicz is a major steal for the Flames.
Lindholm struggled this season. He’s only scored 32 points (9G, 23A) in 49 games. It was enough for him to represent Calgary as a 2024 NHL All-Star, but due to this trade, he now represents Vancouver. The expiring contract doesn’t make it certain that Lindholm stays with the Canucks, however.
Laughton struggled this season, too. He scored a career-high 43 points in 2022-2023. Now, he has 20 points (5G, 15A) in 50 games. Untimely, costly penalties contribute to his struggles, recording 12 penalty minutes in the last five games. Additionally, his ice time dipped from an average of 18:17 a season ago, to 15:19.
Per season, Laughton costs $3mil. His contract expires at the end of the 2025-2026 season. During the offseason, the St. Louis Blues offered a first-round pick for Laughton. Briere turned down the offer.
It is possible that Laughton could return a first-round pick after looking at the haul Lindholm earned the Flames in a down season.
The Flyers’ Market for Laughton
Not a stranger to trade rumors, teams always have an eye on Laughton. Before the Blues last summer, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars kept a keen eye.
A fan favorite, a highly respected player, and an athlete with a community presence, Laughton is the only Flyers skater with an ‘A’ on the sweater. John Tortorella respects him as a leader of the locker room, and his outstanding character could’ve played a role in Briere holding Laughton in the offseason.
Considering the rebuild timeline, it seems unlikely Laughton will receive another contract with Philadelphia after 2025-2026. If the right deal is offered, a first-round pick, Briere seems likely to consider the trade.
(Photo by Rob Curtis/Icon Sportswire)