With defenseman Andrew MacDonald getting close to returning from a leg injury and Samuel Morin lurking in the minors, Mark Alt knows his days in the Flyers’ lineup may be numbered.
But he’s enjoying it while it lasts, and showing he can be a dependable NHL player.
“Obviously, I’m excited for the opportunity and I’m doing the best I can with it,” Alt, 26, said before Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to Vancouver. “I had an adjustment period when I came up here, but now I’m getting used to the systems, the speed, and the tempo. I’m starting to feel pretty good out there.”
The 6-foot-4, 201-pound Alt, whose father, John, was once a star offensive lineman with the Kansas City Chiefs, has a plus-1 rating in six games.
“He’s been giving us a real solid 12 to 14 minutes a night,” coach Dave Hakstol said.
Alt, one of three rookies in the Flyers’ defensive rotation, has been so steady that general manager Ron Hextall has bypassed a chance to recall 6-foot-7, 227-pound Morin from the Phantoms.
“We’re happy with the way Mark is playing right now; it’s a good fit,” Hextall said before the game. “We’ll see where it goes.”
After Tuesday’s loss, however, Alt, who was plus-1 in the game, appeared to be clearing out his locker. That means Morin could be recalled for Wednesday’s game against the Islanders.
“I hope people know what we think of him. He certainly knows what we think of him,” Hextall said of Morin. “Right now, we want him playing 20-plus minutes.”
With Radko Gudas suspended, Alt has been playing the right side on a pairing with Travis Sanheim, another rookie. They played together a little bit with the Phantoms, where Alt spent more time alongside Brandon Manning or Robert Hagg.
Phantoms left winger Danick Martel, who leads the AHL with 14 goals in 17 games, is among the players Hextall will consider if he makes a call-up.
“He’s taken a step this year, for sure,” Hextall said. “He’s a dangerous player when he’s on the ice. One game in Hershey, he must have had six or seven chances.”
If I’m Hexy, I recall Morin and Martel. Time to shake things up. #Flyers
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) November 17, 2017
Matt Read cleared waivers and is expected to be sent to the Phantoms when MacDonald is activated. MacDonald has an outside chance to return Friday against the visiting Islanders, Hextall said. … Hakstol hasn’t lost faith in winger Michael Raffl, who is without a point in his last 42 games dating back to last season. “I’m sure it’s frustrating for him, but he’s played very well and doesn’t need to change his game at all,” Hakstol said. … Hextall said Gudas doesn’t plan to appeal his suspension. … Dale Weise was a healthy scratch.