From the start of the season, fans have been pining to see 6-foot-7 defenseman Samuel Morin in a Flyers uniform.
On Monday they will get their wish. But not the way any of them wanted.
With Shayne Gostisbehere out of the lineup with what the team described as an upper body injury that appears to have been head-related, Morin was recalled from the Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and will be assigned 5 as a number.
Morin has a goal and three assists in eight games this season with the Phantoms, who are off to a 7-1 start. As important to the defensively vulnerable Flyers is the plus-7 that accompanies those numbers and the intimidating presence he immediately supplies one of the NHL's smaller teams. In the 158 games he has played for the Phantoms since the start of the 2015-16 season, he has eight goals, 31 assists and 264 penalty minutes.
Selected by the Flyers in the first round (11th overall) of the 2013 NHL entry draft, Morin, 22, played in the Flyers' final regular-season game of 2016-17, his NHL debut. He traveled with the Flyers during their four-game road trip to open the season but did not dress, and was loaned back to the Phantoms on Oct. 11. He played in five preseason games, scoring once with an assist and seven penalty minutes.
Ghostisbehere was injured Saturday night after Toronto's Leo Kamarov splashed him into the glass at 9:51 of the second period. He played a shift after that, assisting on Valtteri Filppula's goal that pushed the Flyers ahead 3-1, but went to the dressing room after that and did not return for the third period.