Well, there’s the news that’s been looming all day. Scott Laughton will return to the Flyers next year after receiving a contract extension for 5 years at $3 million AAV. The 26-year-old forward has posted 123 points in 359 regular season games with Philly, as well as 10 points in 24 postseason games. Laughton has been a good soldier for the Orange & Black ever since his selection at 20th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, so it’s good to see him rewarded for his service. That said, it’s interesting that the team felt he wasn’t able to be replaced by any of the younger players en route to an NHL role in the near future.
Still, Laughton is well known to be a crucial part of what’s holding an already fragile team together. He’s a guy who plays in all situations and can be flexed up and down the lineup in a pinch. While not exactly an impact player who should be expected to replicate last year’s performance going forward (his 27 points in 49 games was a career pace), he’s a useful player and an important part of a culture that needs improvement going forward. It’s difficult to look at Laughton and say with a straight face that he isn’t trying hard enough on a night-to-night basis.
The Flyers will have very little cap space going forward, but few of their players will command extensions of notable cost at this point. With RFAs Travis Sanheim, Nolan Patrick, and Carter Hart headlining the offseason’s to-do list, this adds a bit of certainty. Laughton was certainly shopped around quite a bit, but the Flyers ultimately decided to stick with him, and that’s not the worst thing in the world to be sure. That’s a whole lot of term for a middle six forward. Hopefully it pans out.