When the Flyers sent down Morgan Frost in late December, it was believed the move would not be for good.
Forty days since his demotion, Frost has returned.
The Flyers on Friday night recalled their top prospect and loaned Andy Andreoff to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
Frost's call-up is about a few things.
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Playing at center, Claude Giroux has gone scoreless over the last four games, his longest drought of the season. At practice Friday, Giroux moved back to left winger alongside Sean Couturier, who has served as a common spark plug for his linemates.
Giroux and Couturier have always brought out the best in each other, so, if that decision sticks, it would be a logical attempt by head coach Alain Vigneault to get his captain going offensively.
However, it leaves the Flyers even thinner down the middle. Without Giroux at center, the Flyers were pegged to go up against the experienced Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals Saturday with Andreoff, who is more of a winger, and rookie Connor Bunnaman as their bottom-six centers. Keeping Scott Laughton on the wing makes sense because he has played so well there.
So the Flyers needed some help at center and were shut out, 5-0, by the Devils in their previous game Thursday. Frost, a skilled 20-year-old center, can provide a lift with his well-publicized playmaking ability.
During his first taste of the NHL, the 2017 first-round pick hit a bit of a wall production-wise after scoring two goals and three points in his first two games. In the following 16 games, Frost had four points (all assists) and a minus-4 mark, while his minutes decreased.
Frost's play could dictate how long he stays with the Flyers. His play could also have a say in the team's Feb. 24 trade deadline plans.
Fellow rookie Joel Farabee will miss his second straight game Saturday because of the flu. When he returns, the Flyers won't have to make a roster move, but they would likely have to sit a young forward if they don't.
Frost is back for now, though, with a chance to show he can impact the Flyers' playoff run.
After Friday's practice, here's our best guess for the Flyers' lineup at forward Saturday:
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Morgan Frost-Tyler Pitlick
Michael Raffl-Connor Bunnaman-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
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