Oct 1, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Jake Dowell (53) skates past Chicago Blackhawks left wing Jeremy Morin (11) during the third period at the United Center. Montreal won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Morin was acquired by the Blackhawks in 2009 as a part of a seven player deal. Morin has been in the AHL with the Rockford Ice Hogs since 2010-11. In three seasons with Rockford he appeared in 158 games and scored 56 goals and 54 assists. After dominating the AHL last season, Morin was called up last season. Morin appeared in 24 regular season games. He recorded 5 goals and 6 assists with an ATOI 9:10. During the playoffs, Morin appeared in two games with ATOI 6:26.
After last season the Blackhawks rewarded Morin with a two year contract worth 800,000 per year. The prevailing thought was that Morin would make the Blackhawks out of training camp. The thought process was that Morin would split time with the recently required Daniel Carcillo on the fourth line.
Everyone in the Blackhawks organization knows he can score, but his defense has been holding him back. Morin scored 3 goals and had 2 assists in four games from April 3rd-9th last season. Morin was going to have to scratch and claw for his ice time. His ice time was going to be dependent on his defensive play. That was until today. Today it was announced that Kris Versteeg will be out for three weeks with a lower body injury aka ankle injury. During practice today, Morin was seen skating on the third line with Brad Richards and Bryan Bickell.
Regardless of what line Morin plays on, he must take advantage of this moment. This is Morin’s time to impress Coach Q and his staff. This is Morin time to avoid the Rockford shuttle and earn Coach Q’s trust. Once a player earns the trust of the Coaching staff, they see their minutes increase. Ben Smith is a prime example of that. Smith was given a chance last year and impressed. Morin was going to be given a fourth line chance, now he will be given a third line chance. On the third line last season Versteeg played 14:06, that would be almost double Morin’s time last season. Morin needs to provide offense and above average defense for that line. He might even need to be physical because Bickell isn’t physical during the regular season.
The Blackhawks differ from most NHL teams in that they play more of an offensive third line and play a shut down fourth line. Morin could add some much needed punch to third line. When Versteeg returns, Morin can hopefully keep up his offensive production on the fourth line.
The Killers stated in their song Shot at the night “Give me a shot at night, Give me a moment, some kind mysterious”. This is Morin’s shot at the night, hopefully he takes advantage of it.
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