Laughton Wins Roster Battle with Vecchione
One of the roster battles coming into Flyers training camp turned out to be a dud.
While the expectation was that Scott Laughton was tailor made for the fourth-line center role, Mike Vecchione was supposed to give him a run for his money and never got the chance.
Laughton, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2012, never really had to trade reps with Vecchione, whom the Flyers inked to a contract late last season. Wednesday Vecchione was sent to the American Hockey League.
“He’s going through training camp for the first time,” coach Dave Hakstol said after Tueday’s overtime exhibition win over the New York Rangers, in which Vecchione did not play. “He’s a pretty mature young man. I said it a couple of days ago, he shows up and works every day and keep a pretty good perspective on everything.”
Vecchione, who signed with the Flyers out of Union College last year for the rest of the season and then re-signed in the summer, never got much of a chance to be in the middle. He’s been mostly a right wing, something he hasn’t done in years.
With the Flyers’ depth at center, most of which developed before July 1 when he renewed his contract, it begs the question why he thought re-signing in Philly was a good idea.
“Looking back I felt like the Flyers were the best fit for me,” the 24-year-old forward said earlier in camp. “I just felt a comfort level with the Flyers and a good fit and a lot of opportunity here. Whether it’s at center or wing, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m gonna go out there and do whatever I can to make the team and make the team better. Those are obviously some good players (the Flyers have competing for spots) and it does present a challenge to make the lineup, but I’m really dedicated to the Flyers organization and they’re dedicated to me. They signed me pretty early in free agency so I feel like they have some good plans for me and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make them proud.”
With Vecchione now out of the picture, does that mean Laughton is firmly on the roster?