One thing about this new Flyers regime is they don’t sit on their hands much.
Whether it’s General Manager Chuck Fletcher or Coach Alain Vigneault, or more likely a combination of the two with input from assistant GM Brent Flahr and assistant coaches Michel Therrien, Mike Yeo, and Ian Laperriere and maybe some consultation with advisors Bob Clarke and Paul Holmgren, this is a different approach for the Flyers.
If something is broke, try and fix it. Don’t wait for it to fix itself.
The Flyers’ offense has been sputtering in November. The team is averaging just 2.44 goals per game this month if you don’t count the goal they get credit for when they win a shootout.
Vigneault has tried juggling the lines. Fletcher has called up and sent down a series of forwards. Nothing has helped.
So, now they are going in a different direction.
The Flyers recalled top minor league prospect Morgan Frost on Monday, sending Carsen Twarynski back to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Fans have been begging for Frost since he is the leading scorer for the Phantoms, but the Flyers were reluctant to recall him and allow him to make his NHL debut because although he can score at the AHL level, there are a lot of aspects to his game that need more consistency or nurturing before he can be considered reliable.
But, the NHL team is trying to win. It’s trying to be a competitor once again, and for the most part, the system that Vigneault et al have installed has the Flyers hanging around in almost every game with a chance to win. Couple that with good goaltending, and you have a decent recipe for success.
However, you need to score. And aside from the top line of Oskar Lindblom, Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny, the Flyers are not scoring.
So, whether he’s NHL-ready or not, Frost is getting the call to see if he can add even a small spark to the offense.
The Flyers are gambling a little for sure, and if it doesn’t work out, they can always send Frost back. It’s really a medium risk, high reward scenario right now.
But they’re taking it. Frost will debut Tuesday in Florida against
former Flyers coach Joel Quenneville and the Florida Panthers.
And needless to say, Flyers Twitter lost its freaking mind:
MORGAN FROST IS HERE FLYERS ARE WINNING THE CUP
— Lifelong Borussia Dortmund Fan (@BurtonToFoles) November 18, 2019
Winther is coming!
— Thorsen (@svend_thorsen) November 18, 2019
MORGAN FROST GOT CALLED UP pic.twitter.com/9zJguVEMza
— 𝙅𝙖𝙠𝙚 #OskarStrong💜 (@jmchvgh) November 18, 2019
— Captain Dave Poulin 🐰 🇯🇵 (@cptdavepoulin) November 18, 2019
when i heard the morgan frost news https://t.co/Z22weInUBQ
— tim (@timjawnders) November 18, 2019
— mr krabs walking type beat (@lion0fthenorth) November 18, 2019
Morgan Frost on the ice this morning in Voorhees. pic.twitter.com/7lIdWOHwoc
— Yo (@FlyGoalScoredBy) November 18, 2019
And there’s more. Much, much more. Just do a search for Morgan Frost on Twitter if you want to go down a rabbit hole of insanity.
So, what does this mean?
Well, it looks like Vigneault is going to break up the one productive line he has in order to try and create balance in the lineup.
At practice on Monday the line combinations were:
- van Riemsdyk-Hayes-Voracek
In addition, Frost rotated with Voracek on the top power play unit, although again, this is just practice.
It’ll be interesting to see if these lines are the ones used against the Panthers, and if they are, how long they last.
Oh, and Frost will be wearing Danny Briere’s old No. 48, for what it’s worth.
It should be noted that Frost has been a bit streaky with the Phantoms. He struggled to start the season, absolutely exploded thereafter, and has regressed a bit the last few games.
I’m not convinced this is a long-term thing. I honestly think it’s an effort to wake up some of the veteran players who have been expected to do more.
I’m not convinced the Flyers want to burn the first year of Frost’s ELC (entry-level contract) if he’s not quite ready to be a full-timer in the NHL.
They have up to nine games to make that decision, but I don’t think it’ll take that long. I think they’ll know by Thanksgiving weekend. Either he’s still here and he can play at this level for the rest of the season, or he’s sent back down when Scott Laughton is ready to return for more seasoning.
Frost can prove me wrong by playing beyond his years over the next week or so, but I’m going to go with the other side of this coin that his arrival is not a permanent one at this time.
I hope I’m wrong. I’ll be happy to say it if I am. But I just think there is an ulterior motive by the Flyers here – Find a way to get their $23 million third line to finally produce like it should – and threatening them by taking away their ice time (like alternating Frost with Voracek on the PP at practice) is going to be that tactic.
We’ll see what happens. Just don’t be this guy yet:
MORGAN FROST pic.twitter.com/xgmgZ3BmO8
— Matthew Costa (@mattcosta4) November 18, 2019