Pump the brakes on the Morgan Frost trade speculation.
The Flyers’ 24-year-old forward, a healthy scratch for six straight games, will return to the lineup on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center for a game with the Carolina Hurricanes, coach John Tortorella revealed to reporters in the morning. Frost was removed from the active lineup after just two games, meaning it will have been a full 16 days since he last saw game action on Oct. 14 in Ottawa.
Regardless, according to a league source granted anonymity to speak freely, the Flyers aren’t looking to move the forward, and haven’t engaged in any serious discussions with any other NHL teams. The belief internally is that Frost has handled the scratching the right way, hasn’t pouted about it, and has been a good teammate throughout what has surely been a frustrating situation.
That can always change, of course, but for now and the immediate future, Frost will be given the opportunity to become a productive player again. The Flyers still view him as one of the young players they want to grow with the organization, as the rebuild continues.
One of the primary reasons it was so difficult for Frost to get back into the lineup — other than the fact the team has remained surprisingly healthy up front — is that Scott Laughton has been an effective centerman, at least when it comes to face-offs, which is a part of the game the Flyers struggled with last season, finishing 30th in the NHL.
Since Frost came out and Laughton moved to the middle, he’s won 46 face-offs and lost 29, for a 61.3 winning percentage. That’s ninth in the NHL among players that have taken at least 50 draws over that span.
Laughton will remain in against the Hurricanes, centering the fourth line between Garnet Hathaway and Nic Deslauriers. Ryan Poehling will come out.
Tortorella said earlier this month that Frost would have to return in a position to score, and reaffirmed on Monday that he sees him as an NHL center and not on the wing. Frost is set to play between Travis Konecny, the Flyers’ leading scorer with eight goals and 11 points, and Tyson Foerster on Monday night, according to reports.
Flyers at skate. They take on Hurricanes tonight at WFC (7 p.m. ET/@NBCSPhilly).
— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) October 30, 2023
“I think this is the evolution of our team,” Tortorella said. “I think we have more people this year. I think there has to be more decisions made with our lineup. I’ve been wanting to get Frosty in, because he didn’t do anything terrible to be out. He wasn’t benched or anything. Other guys played better.”
The coach was asked what he would like to see from Frost against the Hurricanes.
“I just want to see pace. We’re really trying to push the pace. We’re trying to be a pressure team. He’s gotta bring us some offense. That’s what he does. Make some plays. I guess the biggest thing is, because you just can’t simulate it in the amount of time he’s been out, is just the pace of the game. … We’ll see where it goes.”
Frost signed a two-year, $4.2 million contract extension on Sept. 7. He posted 46 points (19 goals, 27 assists) in 81 games last season, and was the Flyers’ leading scorer of the second half.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) October 30, 2023
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