Chuck Fletcher Addresses the State of the Flyers

NHL Entry Draft
VANCOUVER, BC – JUNE 21: Rogers Arena hosts Round One of the 2019 NHL Draft on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire)

You’re probably wondering, how can we get back on the right track!?

Today, Matt Foley didn’t take to the podium. Chuck Fletcher met for about a half-hour with media members today to discuss the state of the Philadelphia Flyers after twenty games.

Injuries play a role. Fletcher began his press conference by addressing injuries. In doing so, he touched on the usage of Morgan Frost.

Making adjustments from within is the way Fletcher plans to turn the Flyers around this season. The team must become healthy. When healthy, they must improve in all facets of hockey. Philadelphia proved they could hang with division leaders, specifically the Washington Capitals. Since then, certain players have been unavailable who typically provide an extra edge.

There’s frustration mounting, but also, a lot of hockey remains. Confidence has taken a dip, but Fletcher believes the Flyers “can be a good team in a tough division.” These next ten games feature some recent repeat opponents. It’s a reality check to what this team is in 2021-2022.

Injury Updates

Close To Returning

Kevin Hayes could rejoin the Philadelphia Flyers as they take on his former team, the New York Rangers. According to Chuck Fletcher, Hayes said this is the best he’s felt in “over a year.” Pending on how he feels tomorrow morning, he’ll likely suit up. He was a vital contributor to the redemption victory against the Calgary Flames.

Wade Allison has skated for about a week. Fletcher added that he has been “skating hard,” and “there is a possibility he’ll play this week in Lehigh Valley.” When Allison does receive the green light with either the Lehigh Valley Phantoms or Flyers, it’ll be his 2021-2022 debut.

Further Away

Derick Brassard wasn’t comfortable in a skating session today. Chuck Fletcher acknowledged he tweaked his lower body. “Hopefully he’s day-to-day, not week-to-week,” said Fletcher. There wasn’t any expectation in returning versus the New York Rangers, but Fletcher implies he could miss extended time.

Ryan Ellis, according to Fletcher, has made “good progress” with his treatment. He’ll resume rehab while his teammates take on the Rangers. His status hasn’t changed, notably due to the logistics of being placed on the long-term injured reserve. Ellis has been battling his nagging injuries since the Philadelphia Flyers faced the Washington Capitals in the preseason.

Patrick Brown is visiting a specialist tomorrow. “He’ll resume skating” if all goes well. Brown suffered a dislocated finger, making it painful to handle a hockey stick. “Hopefully he can play sometime next week. I don’t know if he’s a candidate for Sunday or Monday,” said Fletcher. All sounds well from Fletcher, who says Brown is “healing great.”

Missing Significant Time

That was the phrasing used by Chuck Fletcher regarding Nate Thompson. Today, Thompson underwent surgery, and the Philadelphia Flyers are awaiting an approximation of how much time Thompson will miss.

Where Does Frost Fit?

Before the season began, I begged the question about where Morgan Frost would fit in a healthy Philadelphia Flyers lineup. Many people said Frost wouldn’t excel at 4C, and they could have a point. However, Chuck Fletcher faced this exact question.

Frost received the call up after Derick Brassard went down with an injury. The implication of Brassard missing extending time potentially means an extended stay for Frost.

What is best for Frost? Fletcher admits Frost “started a little slow, but the points came.” What caught the attention of the Flyers was his play on the penalty kill. Since recalled to Philadelphia, Frost contributed an assist, but it’s only a three-game sample size. Not enough to say he’s outgrown the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the Flyers quite yet.

It’s not a crazy thought to place Frost at 3C, forcing Brassard to 4C.

“Going down is certainly an option if that’s the best thing for him. If he can help our team and continue to get the minutes he needs, then I’m all for keeping him here.” There’s an implication that he’ll center in the middle six as long as he continues to trend in the right direction. A Kevin Hayes return means the scoring distribution can spread out. As Hayes eases into the lineup, if that’s the method used by Alain Vigneault, Frost could easily center the second line tomorrow against the New York Rangers.

Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire