With a proverbial “For Sale” sign posted prominently at the Flyers Training Center, it’s no surprise there are takers.
Suitors are kicking the tires on several players. General manager Daniel Briere has said the Flyers are willing to listen to trade offers on everybody. If the Flyers are willing to listen, teams are willing to talk.
Center Scott Laughton and right wing Travis Konecny are the latest Flyers reportedly drawing more than casual interest. They are envious trade candidates for other teams. Both are talented and cap-friendly, with a motivated management team looking to rebuild.
Teams easily envision them fitting into their lineup. Konecny would add offense and a feisty spirit. He scored a career-high 31 goals in 60 games last season.
Scott Laughton with the empty net goal! pic.twitter.com/Cjr5yTYDG6
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) May 28, 2023
Laughton scored a career-high 43 points last season. He would bring leadership and defensive prowess. He plays the penalty kill and often lines up against opponents’ best line.
Leadership might be his strongest quality to a hockey team.
At the NHL Combine over the weekend, presumed No. 2 pick Adam Fantilli said Laughton was one of the players on Team Canada’s World Championship team who took him under his wing and taught him what it means to be a pro.
“There were quite a few guys who were extremely helpful,” Fantillli said. “Guys like Scott Laughton and Tyler Toffoli and Milan Lucic helped me figure out how to fit in in a locker room like that and navigate situations away from the rink. Just living like a pro and living that kind of lifestyle with them. They all were extremely helpful.”
‘Everybody’s Got A Price’
“He [Briere] made the big trade [Ivan Provorov] this week, and people started calling him a bit more,” NHL Network Insider Elliotte Friedman said on Sportsnet.
“I heard at the combine one of the names that was probably mentioned the most was Scott Laughton. He’s signed for three more years at $3 million a season. He’s a really good player. Teams are always looking for centers.
“I think the Flyers believe this, look, they’re turning their team over. They’re going to have a lot of young players. You need good veterans around them.
“I think in a perfect world they would like to keep Laughton but —and this is a but — if they get the right price they’ll consider it.
“I’ve just heard there’s been are a lot of teams calling about him. And like [professional wrestler] Ted DiBiase said, the Million Dollar Man, everybody’s got a price.”
Laughton, 29, was an alternate captain for Canada in the World Championships, where the Canadians won gold. Laughton is mentioned as a possible future captain for the Flyers, when and if coach John Tortorella decides to name a captain. Laughton would be on the short list of candidates.
Oilers Interested In Konecny?
Kurt Leavins, writing in the Edmonton Journal on Sunday, talked about an Oilers trade for Konecny.
“And a contact of mine with connections to the player reports that the Oilers are one of the teams that has reached out to ask about Travis Konecny,” Leavins wrote.
“There is lots to like about the speedy, versatile, competitive forward with lots of finish. Konecny has just one year left on a relatively economical $5.5m cap hit, and the London, Ontario native would probably not be averse to signing long-term North of the border.
“Konecny would be a true Top-6 prize for Edmonton. We shall see if there is any fire from that bit of smoke.”
Edmonton believes its window for the Stanley Cup is now with Connor McDavid in his prime. Edmonton already is a high-scoring machine. The Oilers led the NHL in scoring with a 3.96 per game average. In the playoffs, Edmonton was third in scoring at 3.67.
Edmonton’s problem isn’t scoring goals, it’s preventing them. The Oilers were 16th in regular-season goals allowed at 3.12. In the playoffs, the Oilers were 12th out of 16 teams in goals allowed with 3.50.
One would think the Oilers’ priority would be on defensive-minded players — like Laughton, actually. Nick Bjugstad is an unrestricted free agent, so the Oilers might want Konecny to potentially replace the 17-goal scorer.
Kailer Yamamoto is a buyout candidate after a down season impacted by a neck injury. He only scored 10 goals.
Edmonton has the NHL’s top two point producers in McDavid (64 goals, 89 assists, 153 points) and Leon Draisaitl (52 goals, 76 assists, 128 points). The Oilers also have the NHL’s ninth-leading scorer in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (37-67, 104).
If the Flyers trade Laughton and Konecny — after dealing Provorov — this rebuild could get real serious.
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Who: Florida Panthers at Vegas Golden Knights
What: Game 5
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Game 6 (if necessary): Vegas at Florida, 8 p.m. Friday
Game 7 (if necessary): Florida at Vegas, 8 p.m., Monday, June 19
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