Last week, we were treated to another rumor involving the Rangers and Flyers center Scott Laughton. The Flyers have reportedly dangled their struggling center, and the Rangers have a need for help down the middle. That’s really the only match, as Laughton doesn’t really fit what the Rangers need on the ice. The Rangers interest in Scott Laughton seems off.

As it stands today, the Rangers do need an upgrade at bottom six center. As much as we love Jonny Brodzinski, relying on his 70 total minutes this season with Kaapo Kakko and Will Cuylle isn’t necessarily a strong idea. Brodzinski could be a late bloomer, or simply a guy that just needed an opportunity. But if we are playing the odds, the Rangers will want some insurance.

That’s not to say Brodzinski won’t fit into the lineup, we’ve covered this and he has certainly earned his roster spot. The concerns about Cuylle and Kakko driving play with Brodzinski as a passenger don’t pass the sniff test either, since Kakko and Cuylle without Brodzinski do take a step back with possession numbers.

Rangers interest in Scott Laughton seems off

The Rangers interest in Scott Laughton seems to be one of those situations where he’s a center that is available, the Rangers need a center, so there must be a match. But it’s not that simple, and it’s about whether Laughton is the type of player the Rangers need.

For starters, Laughton doesn’t come cheap. His cap hit is manageable, sure, but he has another two years left on his deal. Naturally there is concern about Filip Chytil and his long term future, and that can’t be ignored here, but acquiring a soon-to-be-30-year-old with two more years left just doesn’t seem right.

Contract aside, which is certainly manageable, Laughton simply isn’t good. He’s marginally better than the recently released Nick Bonino. So not only would the Rangers get a pretty bad hockey player, they’d be committed to him for another 2 years. If you hate the Barclay Goodrow contract, you’ll hate this too.

The Rangers interest in Scott Laughton seems, again, to be a throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks kind of rumor. Nothing about Laughton, his stats, play style, even his offensive numbers, match what the Rangers are looking for. Add in the wild card of this being an intra-division trade, likely driving trade cost up, and you have something that simply doesn’t make sense.

The Rangers interest in Scott Laughton is hopefully just a poorly placed rumor. There’s nothing here that matches what the Rangers are looking for. He’s not a viable shutdown center (4C), and his play driving is so bad that even Kakko and Cuylle wouldn’t be able to carry him as a 3C.

The rumored cost is a first round pick, and it’s expected the Flyers would ask for Kaapo Kakko. Neither on their own would work, let alone both.

Better options elsewhere

While we aren’t 100% sure if the Rangers want a scoring center or a shutdown center, and again, Laughton is neither, we do know there are cheaper and better options available. Adam Henrique, even if he doesn’t move the needle much, is a better option than Laughton. Ditto Tommy Novak in Nashville. Both would be 3Cs.

If the Rangers want a 4C with term, then Nick Bjugstad is a great target as well. His $2.1 million cap hit for this season and next is easily manageable, and Bjugstad is actually good at hockey and is what the Rangers need. He’s a forechecker, solid in all three zones, and has a history of being a solid depth center option. Bjugstad would also be a cheaper acquisition.

The Rangers interest in Scott Laughton seems to be a last ditch effort if their primary plans fall through. But given the cost, they are better off not using him as a last resort. He’s not only a poor fit this season, but he’d hinder the Rangers for two more years.


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