Flyers analysis

Frost saw another obstacle in Flyers' finale but left his GM impressed

The young center played only 8:02 minutes in Game 82 as Tortorella shortened the Flyers' bench

NBC Universal, Inc.

Morgan Frost's season ended with him sitting on the Flyers' bench at the Wells Fargo Center, watching helplessly as his team lost and was officially knocked out of the playoff race.

From a personal perspective, it was an unfortunate finish for Frost, who had overcome 11 healthy scratches to put himself in a firm lineup spot. But here he was, watching again, an awful feeling to stomach into the offseason.

In need of a regulation win and two other results to go the Flyers' way, John Tortorella whittled down his lineup considerably as the team's regular-season finale played out three and a half weeks ago.

Frost, Bobby Brink and Cam Atkinson didn't play for the entire back half of the game, which was tied 1-1 until the final three minutes. When the buzzer sounded on the Flyers' 2-1 loss to the Capitals, Frost had played only 8:02 minutes, Brink 7:37 and Atkinson 4:41.

Symbolic of his season, Frost handled it like a pro.

"Obviously you want to be out there, especially in a game like that, an important game, it's pretty devastating to not play," he said a day later at his end-of-the-season press conference. "But at the same time, I have a lot of respect for Torts and I think he's a great coach. If he felt that's what he needed to do to try to win that game, then I understand it.

"I think those last couple of games, I could have played a little bit better. I think there were a lot of guys that were playing good, I thought they were working hard and doing a lot of good things last night. It's easy to say right now that I'm unhappy about it, but at the same time, that wasn't what was important in that game anyway. I just wanted to get the win and I was happy to cheer on my teammates."

Reasonable doubt over Frost's future with the Flyers had built in the first two months of the season. The young playmaking center was benched for six straight games and 10 of the Flyers' first 20. And this was on a rebuilding team emphasizing youth.

But in early January, after sitting an 11th time and seeking out Tortorella for an "honest conversation," Frost never sat again the rest of the regular season. Like last season, his game improved down the stretch. Since that final benching on Jan. 4, Frost put up eight goals and 22 assists in 44 games. His 30 points over that span were the third most on the Flyers, behind only Travis Konecny's 33 and Owen Tippett's 31.

"I have to say, I was really impressed with how Morgan Frost handled the situation this season," Flyers general manager Danny Briere said three weeks ago at his end-of-the-season press conference. "He has shown a lot of maturity, the way he handled it, didn't want to create waves, waited for his turn and when he had the chance, really stepped up and was a really good player for us. Maturity-wise, Morgan was great."

Frost had career highs in assists (28) and plus-minus (plus-4) despite playing 10 fewer games than he did last season, when he recorded 19 goals and 46 points. This season, he had 13 goals and 41 points.

There was also moderate trade buzz around Frost. The Flyers don't have him signed long term and Tortorella hasn't exactly fallen in love with the player. But, despite the Flyers being open for business, you'd expect Frost to be back for an important 2024-25 season. The 2017 first-round draft pick turns 25 years old next week and is entering the final year of a two-year, $4.2 million contract.

"I feel like I matured a lot, especially going through some hard times at the start of the season and kind of coming out of it," Frost said. "I think just in general, in my time here, from the first year I've been here to now, I've definitely grown up a lot and I've learned how to handle situations better."

Subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts: 
Apple Podcasts | Youtube Music | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | RSSWatch on YouTube

Contact Us