It’s NHL Trade Deadline day. Chuck Fletcher and the Philadelphia Flyers have yet to make a move, and it remains to be seen what their strategy will be. However, after Sunday afternoon’s collapse, Fletcher has no choice but to sell –– or at least be smart and opportunistic, as all GMs should be. There have been a few Flyers trade rumors throughout recent weeks.
The Flyers only have a few pending free agents, and just one of them has had his name in the rumor mill leading up to the deadline: Scott Laughton.
Timeline of Scott Laughton rumors
March 31st: Laughton added to TSN’s Trade Bait List
As the Flyers’ miserable month of March came to an end, Scott Laughton was the first Flyers player added to TSN’s Trade Bait List.
From Frank Seravalli:
“The Flyers also have a decision to make with Laughton. The pending UFA is due for a raise, on pace for his second straight 45-point season over 82 games and he plays his role to perfection as a feisty, 200-foot player. If the Flyers fall further out of the playoff mix, GM Chuck Fletcher may have to consider moving him.”
“Laughton, 26, is one of the few Flyers pending free agents that could bring some sort of value back in a trade.
The former first-round pick carved out a niche for himself in the bottom six over the past few years. He also showed that he can play on the second line if needed. Laughton is a two-way player that can kill penalties and is tough to play against. If a team is looking to add some forward depth heading into the playoffs, Laughton definitely wouldn’t be a bad addition.”
From Elliotte Friedman:
“12. I could see Pittsburgh with interest in Scott Laughton. Remember: Philadelphia sent Mark Streit to Tampa in 2016, where he was flipped to the Penguins. (That’s awesome — the league needs teams who hate each other so much they refuse to make trades.) My sense on the Flyers is they’ve tested the market on Laughton. These things can change quickly, but the last time I checked, there hadn’t been much extension talk. I’m a huge Laughton fan, and the tough thing about Philly potentially losing him is that he loves being a Flyer.”
This came around the same time that Laughton spoke about his desire to stay in Philadelphia:
“My focus is here in Philly. I love it here in Philly. I love the staff here, I love the guys here. I’m focused on coming to work every day and trying to get better and push the pace a little bit and get a playoff spot. That’s my focus right now and whatever happens, happens, but I love it here in Philly.”
“It’d be great to see Laughton stay with the Flyers and re-sign on a team-friendly deal after this one expires. However, if teams are going to offer a draft pick in the first or second round or even a third-round pick, Chuck Fletcher may need to pull the trigger.
If Fletcher allows Laughton to help facilitate a potential trade and choose his destination, the Flyers may even be able to trade him for a decent return while also leaving the door open for him to return in the offseason.”
Just this past Saturday, Laughton was mentioned again by Elliotte Friedman. This time, it was during the Saturday Headlines segment on Sportsnet.
Friedman on Laughton:
“In Philadelphia, Scott Laughton. I think he’s been a target for a couple of teams, including potentially Toronto,” Friedman said. “However, they’ve been grinding away at it this week. The word is that Laughton wants to stay and that Philadelphia wants to keep him. We’ll see if they can close this one out over the next 48 hours.”
“It’s an interesting situation for Laughton and the Flyers. He has carved out a nice role for himself. It makes sense why teams want him for a playoff push as well. He plays the game the right way, can slide up and down the lineup at both center and wing. Laughton will do what’s asked of him to help the team win.
If Laughton wants to stay with the Flyers and the organization wants the same, which appears to be the case, teams may need to overwhelm Fletcher. However, with the Flyers on the outside looking in, Fletcher may have to do what he needs to do to set this team up for the future.”
On Sunday night, the Blue Jackets traded Nick Foligno for a first-round pick. Could that help the market for Laughton?
Timeline of Nolan Patrick rumors
Scott Laughton has been in the rumor mill for almost two weeks, but Nolan Patrick has only been mentioned once.
Nick Kypreos brought up Patrick on Friday’s edition of Real Kyper at Noon with Doug Maclean:
“We talked about buyers and sellers. Philly’s on the outside looking in, I’m hearing that they’ve shopped hard Nolan Patrick,” Kypreos said. “That’s a new name,” Maclean interjected.
“Obviously, the injuries have taken their toll. As a buyer, I think you still would like the upside, but health is a huge concern on how healthy this guy can stay,” Kypreos continued. “I would imagine to get Nolan Patrick, if you’re the Edmonton Oilers, it wouldn’t be that expensive.”
“This could just be something thrown out there, but it’s worth at least keeping this in the back of your mind. Patrick hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations in Philadelphia and a change of scenery could be a good thing for both parties.
Patrick potentially being targeted by a buyer is interesting, however, as it seems more likely for the talented 22-year-old center to be a piece in a bigger trade.
The Flyers have been linked to a few big-name defensemen over the past month, more so when they were closer to a playoff spot, and Patrick might be the main piece that they’re shopping. Chuck Fletcher might be able to use Patrick as the centerpiece of a trade for a top-four defenseman.”
It’d be surprising if Fletcher and the Flyers traded Patrick today, but anything could happen.
Stay tuned throughout the morning and early afternoon for more updates surrounding Laughton, Patrick, and any other Flyers rumors that may crop up. It should be an interesting day in Philadelphia.
Photo: Heather Barry Images