As the All-Star break arrives, the Flyers season is also at a critical moment. Through 50 games, the team is sitting in third place in the Metropolitan Division and holds a playoff spot by four points over the fourth-place New York Islanders.

While the Flyers have still wildly exceeded expectations to this point in the season, the last five games have brought them back to earth a bit and show signs that perhaps the unlikely run is nearing its end. While the team has some time to turn things back around, the trade deadline is looming.

By the time the Flyers take the ice again on Feb. 6, there will be just over one month left until the March 8 trade deadline.

Wednesday night brought about a blockbuster trade in the NHL, with Elias Lindholm being dealt by the Calgary Flames to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Andrei Kuzmenko, prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo, a 2024 first-round pick, and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick. That trade took what was arguably the top center on the market off the table.

With the center market looking thin, there could be interest in one of the Flyers veterans. According to a report from TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Flyers are “taking calls” on Scott Laughton. Dreger also notes the team is not eager to trade Laughton, but that GM Danny Briere is “gauging interest.”

Laughton, 29, is certainly no stranger to the trade rumor mill. Laughton was on the final year of a two-year deal in the 2020-21 season, when the Flyers were generating trade deadline interest in the forward. Rather than trade him, they signed Laughton to a five-year extension just prior to the deadline. Laughton is currently in the third year of that five-year deal and has two seasons remaining following this season. There is not a no-movement clause in his contract.

This season, Laughton has scored five goals and has 20 points in 50 games.

Laughton was also subject to trade rumors last offseason. As the Flyers continue the rebuild that was started then, there is certainly reason for Laughton to be moved for assets, whether at the deadline or potentially in the offseason.

In addition to Laughton, there are other names that have been regular parts of trade rumors as the deadline approaches. After acquiring Jamie Drysdale, the abundance of defensemen on the active roster has generated more buzz around Sean Walker and Nick Seeler, both on expiring contracts. The usage of Morgan Frost this season has brought on trade rumors as well.

With so many teams still involved in the playoff race, it is highly likely that this remains in the “kicking the tires” phase for the time being. But it will certainly be an interesting trade deadline as teams set the market and figure out the best decisions for the course of the franchise going forward. In what has already been an eventful first season in the GM chair for Danny Briere, it’s only going to get more eventful with the trade deadline already around the corner.

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on social media @Kevin_Durso.

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