Tag: Scott Laughton

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Video: Caps’ Niskanen knees Flyers’ Couturier


Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen hit Flyers forward Sean Couturier knee-on-knee in the final minute of the first period this afternoon.

Couturier went to the room favoring his right leg, but did return in the second period.

Niskanen was assessed a minor penalty for kneeing on the play.

Last month Niskanen knocked Scott Laughton from a game between the Flyers and Capitals. Laughton was forced to miss seven games as a result.

Flyers demote Laughton with Raffl return likely

Michael Raffl, Wayne Simmonds

Zach Bogosian’s Buffalo debut isn’t the only lineup note for Sunday’s Buffalo Sabres – Philadelphia Flyers game, as Philly’s forward group will look a little different.

The Flyers sent Scott Laughton to the AHL, making Michael Raffl’s return to the mix seem very likely, according to CSNPhilly.com.

Raffl (pictured to the left of Wayne Simmonds) has been sidelined since Jan. 20 with pneumonia, missing seven games in that span.

It sounds like this swap will mean a new look for the Flyers’ scoring lines, as Raffl, 26, is expected to be back with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek while Brayden Schenn moves back to center between R.J. Umberger and Ryan White.

Laughton remains a work in progress at the NHL level, as he only has two goals and four assists for six points in 31 games this season. At 20, he still has plenty of time to blossom, but it sounds like it’s back to the drawing board for now.

PHT Morning Skate: The Curse of Columbus, plus Niskanen vs. Laughton


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Do you think the Columbus Blue Jackets might be literally cursed considering all of those injuries? This is the column for you. (Columbus Dispatch)

Is it finally time for the Arizona Coyotes to trade Keith Yandle? (SBNation)

The 10 worst signings of this season. (The Hockey News)

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen has some bite to his game, as evidenced in this fight with Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton:

Nifty moment here as St. Louis Blues captain David Backes literally passes Jaden Schwartz’s stick to him in the heat of game action:

Flyers’ Raffl expected to return Thursday

Michael Raffl

The Philadelphia Flyers expect to have forward Michael Raffl in the lineup on Thursday when they play host to the New York Islanders.

Raffl, who has missed the past three games due to an illness, has 12 goals and 15 points in 40 games this season.

As a result, the Flyers reassigned winger Petr Straka to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League.

Straka appeared in three games for the Flyers registering two assists while averaging 9:27 in ice time.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Nick Grossmann (shoulder) is also expected to play Thursday.

Rookie Scott Laughton (concussion) did not practice on Sunday.

Will the Youngstars even have a chance? (Updated)


NOTE: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly listed the cutoff/eligibility birth date as Sept. 1, 1993. It is Sept. 1, 1992. Changes have been made to reflect this new date.

COLUMBUS — Gary Bettman said they’ll be “incredibly competitive.”

Patrick Kane said ‘it’s a young man’s game.”

Well, in 19 months we’ll know for sure.

During Saturday’s official announcement of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey — which will include new entities in Team Europe (players outside of Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic) and the North American Youngstars — there was plenty of focus on the latter.

Specifically, who’s going to be on this team? And how good will it be?

Per ESPN, Youngstars-eligible players will need to be 23 or younger by Sept. 1, 2016 — meaning the cutoff birth date is Sept. 1, 1992. What’s more, 23-and-under players can only play for the Youngstars, not the Canadian or U.S. senior national teams.

And that could make for some interesting roster decisions.

Per Bettman, World Cup teams will carry traditional 23-man rosters. To give an idea of what the North American Youngstars are currently working with, here’s a list of eligible players that’ve participated in NHL games this year.

Forwards: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Brandon Saad, Matt Nieto, Sean Couturier, J.T. Miller, Nathan MacKinnon, Sean Monahan, Mark Scheifele, Jonathan Huberdeau, Boone Jenner, Ryan Strome, Johnny Gaudreau, Alex Galchenyuk, Jonathan Drouin, Bo Horvat, Sam Reinhart, Anthony Duclair, Curtis Lazar.

Defense: Connor Murphy, Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Ekblad, Jacob Trouba, Seth Jones, Morgan Rielly, Damon Severson, Ryan Murray, Cody Ceci, Derrick Pouliot, Griffin Reinhart, Matt Dumba, Darnell Nurse.

Goalies: John Gibson.

Obviously, the above players will have matured and gained experience, and players yet to make their NHL debuts will be in the mix. Many have already speculated about the projected top two picks at the 2015 Draft — Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel — becoming Youngstars teammates; there are also those that starred at the recently-completed World Junior Championships (think Max Domi, Samuel Morin, Josh Morrissey, Nic Petan, Dylan Larkin, Sonny Milano, Anthony DeAngelo, etc.)

Goaltending will probably be the biggest issue. Rarely do netminders become NHL regulars at that young an age; as such, you’ll speculatively hear the names of Malcolm Subban, Zach Fucale and Thatcher Demko get thrown around. The goaltending position is, by far, the most difficult to handicap.

All of which begs the question: While the Youngstars idea is great in theory, will it actually work when executed? Will the Youngstars provide stiffer competition than, say, Switzerland, which sits seventh in the latest IIHF Rankings?

One guy that sounded entirely on board with the Youngstars was Kane — who, you’ll remember, made his NHL debut at 18 and went on to win the Calder.

“If you look at hockey these days it’s a young man’s game, more that ever now,” Kane said on Saturday. “Teenagers are coming into the league and playing right away now, and the skill level is better and better.

“I think we all like watching young players play the game. I know myself I like watching the World Juniors to see who are the next up and coming guys, and I think fans enjoy that too.”