Center Morgan Frost will be the 13th forward when the Flyers open the season Wednesday against visiting Pittsburgh.
Frost, 21, who can also play wing, can’t crack the Flyers’ deep lineup (yet), but he will be the first reserve if someone slumps or is ill/injured. He had two goals and seven points in 20 NHL games last season.
“I thought Morgan played well throughout camp and deserved to be part of our starting group,” coach Alain Vigneault said after Tuesday’s camp session ended in Voorhees. “We worked with him obviously in terms of being able to play more than one position. That gives us a couple of options here moving forward.”
Vigneault believes “there is going to be some moving parts here throughout this new format. So, we are starting this way and we will see how it all works out. Obviously, Morgan is a young player and we believe that he needs to play, but right now the best option for him is to be with our group.”
All seven Flyers placed on waivers Monday cleared on Tuesday, including left winger Samuel Morin and goalie Alex Lyon. The others: defensemen Derrick Pouliot, Tyler Wotherspoon, Chris Bigras, and Nate Prosser, and forward Andy Andreoff.
The Flyers’ taxi squad will have six players: Andreoff, Connor Bunnaman, Morin, Lyon, Prosser, and Carsen Twarynski.
“Everyone on that taxi squad is going to have to play games this year, and if we are not able to get them games on a consistent basis in the NHL, then we will look to get them games on a consistent basis in the American League,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “I think it will probably change several times a week. We will also have to do some things to protect our cap.”
Fletcher said he liked the progress Morin has made as he makes the switch from defense to left wing.
“I am very pleased he cleared waivers. It gives us an opportunity to continue to work with Sam,” Fletcher said. “We are excited where he is at right now.”
It would not be surprising if the 6-foot-7, 230-pound Morin played some games against the more physical NHL teams.
In another matter, Shayne Gostisbehere, who has been declared “unfit to play” the last few days, did not practice Tuesday. But he was placed on the Flyers’ 23-man roster and will start the season as an extra defenseman, along with Mark Friedman.
The Flyers’ lineup for Wednesday’s opener is expected to look like this:
The top power-play unit will have Giroux, Hayes, Couturier, Konecny, and Provorov, while the second unit is expected to be composed of Patrick, Farabee, van Riemsdyk, Voracek, and Gustafsson. Lindblom could work his way onto that unit.
The Flyers announced that 14 players will be assigned to the AHL’s Phantoms: Goalies Felix Sandstrom and Roddy Ross; left wingers Matthew Strome and Max Willman; defensemen Egor Zamula, Wotherspoon, Bigras, Mason Millman, Wyatte Wylie, and Derrick Pouliot; and right wingers Linus Sandin, Pascal Laberge, Zayde Wisdom, and Tyson Foerster.
At the moment, the age requirements have been waived in the AHL.
Fans are not allowed into the Wells Fargo Center at this point, but the team has obtained a waiver from city health officials to invite a front-line worker and their family to each home game.
The first honorees actually are a pair of heroes. Amanda and Josh Hatheway, of Langhorne, will attend Wednesday’s season opener with sons Westin and Carson. They won’t have access to the players, but they will sit in a specially constructed area in the lower bowl, and they’ll be the only fans in the house. Amanda is a nurse for St. Mary’s Medical Center and Josh is an EMT for the hospital’s emergency department.
“People like the Hatheways deserve to be recognized, and we couldn’t be more excited to give them this special experience with their young boys,” said Valerie Camillo, president of business operations.
To submit a nominee, visit http://philadelphiaflyers.com/FrontlineFamilies.
Vigneault is one of five active coaches among the top 10 in NHL history in wins (689, 10th). The others: Florida’s Joel Quenneville (925, second), the Islanders’ Barry Trotz (845, fourth), New Jersey’s Lindy Ruff (736, sixth), and Winnipeg’s Paul Maurice (732, seventh).