Flyers Send Down Rubtsov, Re-Call Vorobyev
It's easy to understand the struggles of the Flyers bottom-six. After all, two of the Flyers best depth players, Nolan Patrick and Scott Laughton, are both on the shelf. Patrick has been considered week-to-week with migraine disorder since training camp, and Laughton still has two-three weeks to go before his broken finger heals.
However, that doesn't mean that the Flyers are going to except the poor play of their depth forwards. The Flyers made a minor roster change Wednesday, re-calling Mikhail Vorobyev from the Phantoms and sending German Rubtsov back to Lehigh Valley.
Rubtsov's promotion proved to be a bit pre-mature, something I and many others speculated when he was initially promoted. It's nothing against Rubtsov long-term - his great hockey IQ, defensive instincts, and playmaking could easily make him a great third-liner in a few years, maybe even an ok second-liner. But Rubtsov has only played 21 games with the Phantoms over the last two years, and though he had 6 points in 7 AHL games in 19-20, he was worse than his teammates by Corsi, according to Phancystats.com.
Vorobyev's return is a bit more questionable. This is Vorobyev's fourth NHL stint, and he hasn't looked good in any of the first three, outside a solid first 2 NHL games last fall. Misha brings a similar skillset to the table as Rubtsov does, but he has much more experience as a pro. But his work ethic and compete level were called into question last year, and so far, Vorobyev hasn't provided any tangible evidence that he's improved at the NHL level. The Flyers are giving him yet another chance to show something about the NHL level - for Misha's sake, let's hope he shows what he's got.
Calling up Vorobyev allows Rubtsov to gain more valuable experience in the AHL. But it also allows for Morgan Frost to do the same. Frost is starting to find his stride with the Phantoms, scoring in 7 straight games (9 points in 10 games overall) and driving play much better than Rubtsov. However, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher mentioned that Frost still has some old habits from junior that he needs to break out. Once Frost does, and the way he's playing, it may not be long, he should be ready to push for an NHL job. But for now, it's Misha's time to shine.