Tropp, 26, has played 148 games in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres and Blue Jackets. He primarily played on both teams’ fourth lines and scored one goal on seven assists in 61 games with the Jackets last season. Morin’s second stint in Chicago was brief. He was traded to Columbus midway through the 2014-15 season for defenseman Tim Erixon.
He then was reacquired by the ’Hawks in June, but that didn’t change his standing within the organization. Morin was never given much of a chance by coach Joel Quenneville to stick around with the Blackhawks. The 24-year-old winger played in 54 games over four seasons with the Blackhawks. He spent the majority of his time in the organization with AHL affiliate Rockford.
Both players’ best chance at making the roster would be as a fourth-liner or bench player. The Blackhawks have a ton of depth at the wings, and Morin and Tropp were the first of the odd men out. Ryan Garbutt, who was acquired from Dallas in the Patrick Sharp trade, has the inside track to make the roster as a depth forward. The addition of wingers Viktor Tikhonov and Artemi Panarin also took away some roster spots.
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Youngsters Ryan Hartman and Mark McNeill also have more upside than Morin and Tropp. They are in contention for the final forward spot on the roster.
The Blackhawks can keep a maximum of 23 players on their official roster to begin the regular season. Chicago has plenty of decisions to make outside of the final forward spots. The Blackhawks need to fortify the back end of their defense, and there is competition for the seventh defenseman spot on the team. Veterans Lubomir Visnovsky and Jan Hejda headline the group fighting for that final spot. Erik Gustafsson, Viktor Svedberg and Kyle Cumiskey are other players in the mix.
The Blackhawks play their third preseason game tonight on the road against Montreal. Many of Chicago’s stars did not make the trip to Canada. They will likely play Saturday night when the Blackhawks welcome the St. Louis Blues to the United Center.