With Joel Farabee and Derick Brassard back, the Flyers needed to decide if it would be better for Morgan Frost’s development to stay at the NHL level or go back to the AHL. On Monday, they determined it would be best for him to go back to the Phantoms.
“This is what’s right for Morgan,” interim coach Mike Yeo said. “There’s no question that this is what’s right. There’s a good chance that he could end up back in our lineup very soon.”
This season, Frost has played 30 games with the Flyers. It’s the most he’s played in a season. He’s also been called up and returned to the Phantoms three times.
Frost was first recalled on Nov. 24 under emergency conditions when Brassard first was injured. He stayed up for 10 games, through Dec. 14. In that time, he had one goal and two assists.
When the Flyers went on their West Coast trip, once again without Brassard, Frost was recalled and played until the All-Star break. He had another goal and two assists, and he and his line started to get into a rhythm. When the team returned from the break, Frost remained with the Phantoms until Feb. 14.
In the four games Frost has played since he was last recalled, he was minus-3 and averaging just under 12 minutes a night. He had five shots and no points.
Yeo said the move isn’t about Frost’s performance with the Flyers so much as what they think will be best for him in the long run.
“I had a little sit-down with him there this morning,” the coach said Monday. “There’s so many positives that I’ve seen, and I think the main thing is for him is to not be discouraged by going down right now. Now, if he takes those things that he was starting to introduce here and takes it down there, then I really believe that he’s going to take off, and that’ll be a big benefit for us and for him.”
With the Phantoms, Frost plays in all situations and spends much more time on the ice. Yeo said he asked him to take the focus needed at the NHL level and apply it to the AHL. He thinks that will allow him to dominate, and, in return, gain the confidence he needs to progress at the NHL level.
General manager Chuck Fletcher also has cited a more positive environment as a factor. The Phantoms went 4-6-2 in February. Meanwhile, the Flyers are just 3-14-4 since the turn of the year.
Loud cheers and stick taps heralded Nate Thompson’s return to Flyers practice. Thompson started the season as the Flyers’ fourth-line center but injured a shoulder on Nov. 26 and had to undergo surgery. During that time, he was away from Philadelphia, doing rehab in different areas of the country like Los Angeles.
Thompson participated in his first rehab skate Monday morning. Then he walked right over and joined the team for practice. Dressed in a noncontact jersey, Thompson stayed through the entire practice and led the stretch circle.
Yeo said he was surprised by how much Thompson was able to do. Following practice, he planned to sit down with him and talk about steps moving forward. While there’s still “a little bit of time here” before they get him back into games, Yeo said it’s nice to have him back on the ice.
“I think you could see the way the players sort of ... the response that they gave when he came on the ice,” Yeo said. “He’s a guy that the players have a ton of respect for and has an awful lot of credibility in our locker room.”
The Flyers host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ... Wade Allison (knee) participated in the rehab skate but not practice. Yeo said Allison is close and could return within the week. ... Kevin Hayes (abdomen) was still skating as an extra, but Yeo said he’s getting close, and he’s looking better than he has all season. He could potentially return by Saturday.