Flyers News: Andreoff Recalled for Vorobyev, Morin Tears ACL, Patrick Still Week-to-Week with Migrai
There's a lot going on in Flyers land lately. In addition to the fifteen games the Flyers have played, where they've posted great analytics and a solid 8-5-2 record, Philly has also been busy with their transactions.
Chuck Fletcher made yet another one Friday morning. Mikhail Vorobyev is going back to the Phantoms. Once again, he lacked the energy and compete level that any player, especially a bottom-sixer needs in the NHL. Though he's only 22, you have to wonder if Vorobyev has failed to stick in four NHL stints if he ever will, especially for the rest of this season.
To replace him, Andy Andreoff. Andreoff was someone Fletcher said would be very competitive for a roster spot right out of camp, though he's spent his first month in the organization with the Phantoms, where he has 7 points in 10 games, posting a strong 56.55 Corsi For%, per Phancystats.com. Andreoff is a decent defensive forward who can be a serviceable place-holder at 4C until Scott Laughton and Nolan Patrick return.
While Laughton's timeline is much more certain, there is still a lot of unknown surrounding the 2017 #2 overall pick Nolan Patrick. If you remember, the Flyers announced that Patrick had been diagnosed with migraine disorder just before training camp. I'm not a doctor, but everything I've heard and read about migraines is that they can be extremely debilitating and don't have a set timeline such as a broken finger like Laughton. It's really a case by case type of thing. Maybe Patrick starts feeling better and returns by the end of the month. Maybe he misses the entire season. Chuck Fletcher was asked about the latter recently and, while he expressed optimism, never explicitly ruled it out.
Ever since the announcement, Patrick has been listed as week-to-week. Obviously, Patrick, the Flyers organization, and the fans want to see him back on the ice as soon as possible. When healthy, Patrick is already a decent 3C with above average puck skills. He's shown flashes of greatness before, and at just 21 there's still a solid chance he turns into an impact NHLer. The Flyers are certainly a better team with Patty in the lineup.
But this is a 21-year old's head we're talking about. For Patrick's future, on and off the rink, this is something that must be treated with extreme care. So please don't be *that* person on Twitter calling him a bust for having a serious hereditary illness (other members of Patrick's family have suffered from migraines, too).
For what it's worth, Patrick has been practicing with a full contact jersey lately, though only in morning skates or optional practices with basically no physicality. There's no doubt that Patrick is chomping at the bit to return to the ice. Please try to judge Nolan Patrick the hockey player separate from Nolan Patrick's injury. For all of our sakes.
If Patrick's illness is unfortunate, Sam Morin's is downright heart-breaking. Morin was sent down to the Phantoms on a 14-day conditioning stint earlier this week. The thought was that Morin was still rusty, and that it would be best for him to shake the cobwebs off in the AHL, allowing him to gain confidence and hopefully be ready to help the Flyers at his stint's conclusion.
Then tragedy struck. Morin suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, the same injury he suffered in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs that caused him to miss nearly the entire 2018-19 season. Not to mention that a bevy of different injuries limited Morin to just 17 games between the Phantoms and Flyers.
Now, not only is Morin's season over, his future in hockey, especially with the Flyers, is in serious doubt. Again, I'm not a doctor, but I'm gonna bet rehabbing from a torn ACL isn't easy, and I'm willing to bet it's harder doing it a second time. Even if Morin does battle back and his ACL heals, there's no doubt that it'll ever be the same.
From a hockey standpoint, Morin was already facing an uphill battle to earn a consistent role on the Flyers blueline. Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan Provorov, and Travis Sanheim are long-term pieces. Justin Braun and Matt Niskanen are locks in the short-term. Phil Myers is a promising rookie who will probably join that first category soon. Even Robert Hagg has 163 NHL games to his name. There are also prospects like Cam York and Yegor Zamula waiting in the wings.
It seems doubtful that Morin would crack that d-core even before the injury. Now, if Morin will ever become a consistent NHLer, he'll almost certainly have to do so in another uniform. It's a tough pill to swallow, as Morin was the 13th overall pick in 2013, heralded as a physical defenseman with good enough skating and puck skills. It's not even that Morin isn't good enough to play in the NHL, it's that he hasn't gotten a chance to show if he is. Unfortunately, the 25-year old may never get that chance. No matter where his future takes him, nothing but the best wishes to Sam Morin going forward.