Flyers training camp

Konecny misses Day 4 of camp, outlook for Frost and more on Flyers

The Flyers play their first exhibition game Monday night against the Devils

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VOORHEES, N.J. — John Tortorella was much more pleased Sunday with the latest pair of scrimmages in Flyers training camp.

Unlike Saturday, he didn't have to leave his perch and deliver a message.

So after the skating gauntlet on Day 1 and six combined scrimmages over Days 2-4, the evaluation is about to pick up for the Flyers' decision-makers.

It's time for game action.

The Flyers open their six-game preseason slate Monday against the Devils in Newark, New Jersey (7 p.m. ET).

"I've liked the attitude of the camp," Tortorella said Sunday. "Had a little bit of a lull in one scrimmage the other day, we talked about that. But I thought we had two really good scrimmages today. I like where the attitude is and I think that's what gets things going. Players don't want to talk about a rebuild. They want to win hockey games. I think they have the right attitude."

AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley head coach Ian Laperriere will lead the Flyers behind the bench at the Prudential Center. Last preseason, Tortorella did the same thing, allowing the Phantoms' staff and his assistants to coach the first four exhibition games.

Before the Flyers throw on the game sweaters, let's get into three observations from Day 4 of camp.

No Konecny

Travis Konecny didn't take the ice for his group's scrimmage. The club's leading scorer last season was out because "he's just banged up a little bit," Tortorella said.

The Flyers' head coach wouldn't specify if the injury was upper or lower body but said it's not serious. Konecny will probably get another day off the ice Monday for precaution.

The 26-year-old had been skating on a line with Sean Couturier and Owen Tippett, the Flyers' projected first line to open camp and the preseason.

The Flyers obviously have zero reason to rush Konecny back to the ice. It's all about having him ready for the Oct. 12 regular-season opener.

Frost needs to 'solidify himself'

Morgan Frost stood out Sunday.

In the first scrimmage, the 24-year-old center set up a Cam Atkinson goal with a nifty deke and pass.

He then followed it up with a goal on an impressive shot in the second scrimmage.

Last season, Frost finished fourth on the Flyers with 46 points, 41 of which came at even strength, the most on the club. He led the team in scoring from Jan. 1 to the end of the season with 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) over 45 games.

What's next for Frost?

"To keep progressing," Tortorella said. "I think he improved as the year went on, but if you want to be in the top-six forwards and I think that's a place, if Frosty's going to play, he kind of needs to be in that type of situation, then you need to keep progressing.

"I thought he was better today than yesterday. We're three days in, we're going to play some exhibition games. He still has quite a bit of work to do to solidify himself. That's Frosty's world and I think he has handled himself well, from where he was in my opinion early in the year to where he came to toward the end of the year, he progressed. And that's all I want to see is just keep moving the needle in the right direction."

Frost has centered Atkinson and Joel Farabee in camp. Right now, it looks like Frost is pegged as the Flyers' second-line pivot, which makes sense. His biggest strength is playmaking and he answered the bell down the stretch in 2022-23 when the Flyers were asking for their younger pieces to prove themselves.

But Tortorella will often go with what lines are working that night. Sean Couturier is the Flyers' alpha dog down the middle when healthy and Noah Cates earned a ton of responsibility last season. Tortorella is going to look for Frost to give him consistent offensive production because that's his ticket to being trusted in more situations.

"If we can get Noah Cates to gain confidence offensively, he may pass a few other guys," Tortorella said. "It puts me in a good situation because I can play him and Coots against two top lines of the opposing teams and feel pretty comfortable, both offensively and defensively.

"This is the battle Morgan Frost is going to have. Is he an offensive center for us, Frosty? Is Catesy? Where does he fall as far as when we're playing against offensive lines? That's all going to be worked out as we go through this here."

Walker this way

When the Flyers kicked off their rebuilding offseason with the trade of Ivan Provorov, they acquired Sean Walker in the three-team deal. To get the rundown on his newest defenseman, Tortorella reached out to Kings coach Todd McLellan.

"I called Mac and other people and got really good reports," Tortorella said. "The thing I like, everybody said how competitive he is. Right-hand shot, very important. He's a guy that we just have to get familiar with. ... I've got to spend some time in trying to figure him out as we go through the exhibition season."

The 28-year-old has played 232 career NHL games, all with Los Angeles. He has one year left on his deal with a $2.65 million cap hit.

Was he surprised by the June trade?

"I wouldn't say I was too surprised, I kind of had the feeling it was coming with salary cap issues in L.A., kind of the direction they were going," Walker said. "I knew where I was standing. I got home from the gym and some buddies starting texting me saying they heard some stuff on Twitter. Not a minute later I got a call from my agent and then [Kings general manager Rob Blake] was right after that. It is what it is, it's business. I was lucky enough to be there for six full years. Very fortunate, but really excited for the next chapter."

Walker will be tasked with fending off some of the Flyers' younger blueliners like Egor Zamula and Emil Andrae for games. He'll also battle for playing time with 36-year-old Marc Staal and 30-year-old Nick Seeler.

What's he hoping to show the Flyers' front office and coaching staff?

"That I have the ability to defend against the other team's top-end players," Walker said. "I want to be a guy that's playing those top minutes, top-four ice time. I think people know that I can contribute offensively. Start in the D-zone, be solid there and then make the right plays and jump when I can to contribute offensively."

Bonus pucks

• Travis Sanheim was one of the best players on the ice in the first scrimmage. He was assertive offensively, constantly pushing the puck up ice and joining the rush. The 27-year-old defenseman buried a goal and drew the praise of his coach.

"It looks like he's in really good shape," Tortorella said. "He has gotten stronger, he has put on some weight. I hope he's trying to make a statement, I really am. Because that's what it looks like to me on the ice, at least the first few days here. He's trying to make a statement, like saying, 'I'm coming at you and I'm going to show you.' I hope he continues to have that attitude."

• Garnet Hathaway found Ryan Poehling for a goal. He also provided the physicality, per usual.

• Bobby Brink and Tanner Laczynski each scored a goal. They've shown some offense in the scrimmages.

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