Frosts Story

Former Leafs announcer Andy Frost’s son, Morgan, grew up at the ACC. Now he’s on the cusp of making the NHL

The year Andy Frost became the voice of the Maple Leafs’ in-arena public address system, he also became a father.

That was 1999. Naturally his son, Morgan, was raised inside the walls of the Air Canada Centre, watching his father work while the Leafs played on the ice down below. By the time Morgan Frost was three – old enough to understand the rules – he was a regular in the arena’s press box, the hallways and the locker rooms. He posed for photos with stars like Curtis Joseph and the rest of the Leafs he grew up around.

Andy wouldn’t push for that access, but if there was an available seat in the press box, he’d ask if Morgan could have it.

“I told him the rules that, you know, you don’t clap and there’s lots of ice cream and for a little kid that’s great news,” Frost said, laughing. “It was work for me — it was a job. I wasn’t there to necessarily be a dad except between periods.”

Morgan is now 18. In June, he’ll head to Chicago with his family and friends for the NHL entry draft. After two strong seasons with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, the highly skilled forward is considered a top prospect, one who is expected to go in the draft’s first three rounds.

His 62 points in 67 games on one of the best teams in the Ontario Hockey League make him a virtual lock to be a top-100 pick. There’s even a chance that he goes in the first round.

There’s even a chance he goes to the Leafs, the team he’s long admired from up close.

Growing up, Morgan’s favourite player was always Kyle Wellwood. But he loved all of the Leafs, he recalls, and was the owner of a “bunch of jerseys.”

In elementary school, he used to brag to his friends that his dad was the voice of the Leafs.

“I thought it was the coolest thing that my dad worked for them,” Morgan said, standing inside his high school shortly after his Greyhounds were eliminated from the playoffs this spring.

But less than a year ago, before the Leafs began their centennial season, his father was informed he wouldn’t be returning as the public address announcer after 17 years.

Andy saw the writing on the wall when his contemporaries weren’t brought back. The team sought to hire a young, full-time anthem singer to replace its carousel of singers. According to Frost, the only thing that didn’t change in the team’s game-day production was Jimmy Holmstrom, the organ player.

There is no bad blood, though. Frost, who sometimes also manned the airwaves as the host of the Leafs’ postgame radio show, recognizes he was the oral soundtrack to “a lot of mediocre and bad hockey teams.”

He misses the excitement of a game day, and the staff he grew close to after years at the rink, but he’s happy for the team’s success and their fans. It’s a load off his plate too, he said.

“It was a long time,” he said. “They seemed to clean house, and they just wanted to get a new feel in there and that’s totally cool with me.”

It’s the memories that matter most. Both Andy and Morgan agree that spending so much time at the ACC was “instrumental” to his young hockey career. Morgan thinks his upbringing prepared him for his end goal.

“It’s pretty crazy (to think I’ll be in an NHL dressing room next fall),” he said. “It’s your dream as you’re growing up. At the same time, it’s always far-fetched and you think once you kind of get to that point, it’s pretty surreal. He’d take me down by the dressing rooms and I think just seeing those guys it kind of set a platform for me and showed me what I wanted to do.”

While Andy’s job provided Morgan with unique opportunities growing up, his dad was still there to do typical parental tasks as well, like driving him to games or fetching him a Gatorade after practice.

“He did a lot for me,” Morgan said. “And it has been vital in my success so far.”

Ahead of Morgan’s junior career, Andy had hoped he would be selected by a team close to home so that he could watch. When he went to the Greyhounds, he remembers thinking, “Jesus, that’s so far away. I won’t be able to go to any games.”

But Morgan never complained. He never has.

“About anything. About living that far away or even when he was younger, nine or 10 years old, getting up for a practice at six in the morning, or even as recently as last summer going to one of his training sessions or working out. He never complained,” Andy said.

Even when he was a young kid, sitting in the press box, Morgan was well-mannered. He never clapped or bugged his dad during the games.

“It meant a lot to me being able to take my kid to the rink,” Andy said. “He was really good and I was proud of him then and I’m really proud of him now. He has accomplished a lot.”

Andy, meanwhile, hasn’t slowed down after stepping out of the Leafs limelight. He’s still on radio, normally seven days a week with Toronto’s Q107.

For now, Morgan is finishing up high school and prepping for the big day ahead, a day he’s been thinking about since his rookie season in the Soo.

“It’s going to be a great moment for him,” Andy said of the upcoming draft.

And if it’s the Leafs — who have connections to the Greyhounds, through assistant GM Kyle Dubas and Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe — calling his name in June?

“It’s a team that I grew up around,” Morgan said. “That that would be huge for me.”

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