Flyers

Flyers loan Morgan Frost to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, activate Michael Raffl off long-term injured reserve

Flyers loan Morgan Frost to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, activate Michael Raffl off long-term injured reserve

Morgan Frost's taste of the NHL is over ... for now.

The Flyers sent the 20-year-old back to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley on Sunday night and activated Michael Raffl off long-term injured reserve.

Is the Frost demotion surprising? Somewhat. It seemed like Mikhail Vorobyev could have been the candidate to go down and have Raffl fill his fourth-line center spot.

Then again, Frost, one of the organization's top prospects, hit a bit of a wall production-wise after scoring two goals and three points in his first two NHL games. In 16 games since, the playmaking center had four points (all assists) and a minus-4 mark.

Frost gave the Flyers an offensive jolt down the middle when they desperately needed it. Lately, though, he had slid down to the third line. He is much more of a factor playing in a top-six role.

Having the 2017 first-round pick return to Lehigh Valley could allow Frost to regain his confidence and be ready to help down the stretch for the Flyers. With the Phantoms, he'll play big minutes and be relied upon heavily to score.

For now, the Flyers will look to Vorobyev to provide some offense at third- or fourth-line center as Raffl joins the bottom six down the middle. While the Flyers have improved their goal prevention, they still need offense. Frost is the type of player that is always a threat to make something happen even if he's struggling to put up points.

The veteran Raffl had been out since early December because of a broken right pinkie finger. Scott Laughton, another key role forward, is nearing a return from a groin injury. When he comes back, Andy Andreoff will likely join Frost in Lehigh Valley.

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Flyers trade Jean-Francois Berube to Rangers

Flyers trade Jean-Francois Berube to Rangers

Save the splashes for the deadline, right?

The Flyers made a minor trade Wednesday night by dealing goalie Jean-Francois Berube to the Rangers in exchange for future considerations.

Berube, 28, went 12-11-4 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in 29 games for AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley this season. Berube, who has 34 games of NHL experience between stints with the Islanders and Blackhawks, was signed by the Flyers on July 1 to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000.

The Flyers have young goalie prospects Felix Sandstrom and Kirill Ustimenko on their farm. Sandstrom, a 2015 third-round pick, and Ustimenko, a 2017 third-round selection, have appeared in a game apiece with the Phantoms this season. Both have played primarily with ECHL affiliate Reading in 2019-20.

The trade of Berube should provide developmental opportunity for Sandstrom, 23, and Ustimenko, 21, at the AHL level. On Friday night, the Flyers promoted Ustimenko to Lehigh Valley.

The Flyers' backup goaltending situation is unclear for 2020-21. Brian Elliott and Alex Lyon can become unrestricted free agents in the offseason.

Meanwhile, the NHL trade deadline is Monday of next week.

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Flyers Talk podcast: NHL playoff race, trade deadline and more

Flyers Talk podcast: NHL playoff race, trade deadline and more

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall debate the playoff race and share some insight on Claude Giroux.

From the Jeff Carter buzz to Nolan Patrick's situation, it's time to talk all things Flyers:

• 0:40 — Emmer loves to sing (hear her beautiful voice at the end)

2:00 — The win over the Blue Jackets looked like a statement

16:45 — Emmer wants to see postseason hockey in Philly

17:50 — Are the Flyers about to solidify their playoff berth?

24:40 — A Carter reunion?!?!

28:00 — Will Patrick play this season?

33:20 — Insight on Giroux as a Flyer

41:15 — Trade deadline show!

42:10 — Emmer's hockey joke of the day!

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