SUNRISE, Fla. — Morgan Frost, the highly touted Flyers center, made his NHL debut Tuesday night in Florida, and his father, Andy, is the person who indirectly steered him toward a hockey career at a young age.
Andy Frost was the Toronto Maple Leafs’ public-address announcer starting in 1999 — the year Morgan was born — until 2016.
When he was around five years old, Morgan started tagging along with his dad to Leafs games. He became comfortable at the rink, walking around the locker room and viewing the action from the press level, where, his dad said, he watched intently and made notes — both mentally and on a piece of paper — when he was 12 or 13.
“He loved the game, and he loved the free ice cream and the free drinks and the free popcorn,” Andy Frost.
Frost sat just above his son and met with him between periods to make sure he had enough food and to discuss the game with him. The Leafs, for a lot of those years, were not exactly a well-oiled machine.
“We saw a lot of bad hockey,” Andy Frost said.
Andy Frost, 63, who was also a popular radio personality at a Toronto classic rock station (Q107) during a 33-year career that ended in 2018, got up at 3 a.m. Tuesday to catch an early flight to Fort Lauderdale.
He and his ex-wife, Dana, and their 15-year-old daughter, Marley, were at the BB&T Center to watch Morgan make his NHL debut while centering Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny. Frost didn’t disappoint, scoring in the second period against Sergei Bobrovksy.
“In my opinion, he deserves it because he’s worked so hard,” Andy Frost said of his son’s reaching the NHL. “I’m proud and I’m happy for him. I’ve had numerous chances, and a lot of my dreams came true. And Morgan’s dreams are coming true as well.”
Andy Frost was the first person Morgan called when he learned he was being promoted from the Phantoms to the Flyers.
“I got on the phone and I thought, ‘What the hell is this? I had never been on FaceTime,’ ‘’ Andy said.
He said he tries not to talk too much hockey with his son.
“I pick my spots,” he said. “This past summer, for instance, I didn’t talk hockey with him once. I realized he was taking a break, and his hockey months are very intense.”
During Morgan Frost’s youth hockey days, his dad said, he watched his son and marveled at his ability.
“When he was maybe 10, 12 years old, I used to go to his practices — and I’ve known the game well — and he would do some stuff on the ice that would make me say, ‘Oh. My. God,' " Andy Frost recalled. "He made some really intelligent plays and did some really intelligent stuff.
"He would find guys who were open, even as a kid, and I’d say to myself, ‘How did he see that guy?’ He just knew that guy would be there. That’s always been his forte. He’s always been an exceptional passer.”
He hasn’t been a bad scorer, either, netting 42 and 37 goals, respectively, in his last two Ontario Hockey League seasons and scoring five times in 16 AHL games with the Phantoms.
Now comes the next chapter.