Friday, October 1, 2010
Morin in good spot to make roster
By Jesse Rogers
Jeremy Morin has a "juicy" opportunity to make the Blackhawks, according to coach Joel Quenneville.
The Blackhawks must be pleasantly surprised that their prized possession from the Dustin Byfuglien trade is ready enough for the NHL. Any way you slice it, Jeremy Morin has had a fantastic camp.
Dynamic with the puck and even a little gritty at times, Morin is getting a huge chance to break in with the Stanley Cup champions. Joel Quenneville called it a "juicy situation" for him.
Quenneville has indicated all week he would get his house in order for the final two preseason games, and knowing that Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane will line up with Morin Friday night says a lot.
Quenneville stopped short of saying Morin had made the team, though. The Hawks do have 14 forwards on the roster, including the injured Jack Skille. It's doubtful, but still possible, they would carry that many. If Skille is ready for Colorado next week, it's unclear what the Hawks will do but it's safe to say Morin won't sit on an NHL bench or in a press box in street clothes. At least not very much.
Quenneville said Igor Makarov has a bright future with the Hawks but needs to "understand" the game better at this level. He didn't play many minutes last season overseas, so time on the ice in Rockford is what is needed for him.
Same goes for Kyle Beach. Quenneville said the AHL is "a great league" for Beach to put it "all together."
Somewhere Stan Bowman must be smiling. Morin looks like a keeper, and while he shed plenty of salary with the Atlanta trade, he may have just acquired a decent player in the making. Maybe more than decent. At 19, he has plenty of time to grow into his game, and doing it around the Hawks youthful stars can't be a bad thing.
Welcome to the NHL Jeremy, you've (almost) earned it.
The Hawks still have to move out two defensemen. And in that case, there are two surprises still here. The veteran Jassen Cullimore is almost assuredly ticketed for Rockford, but he's not there yet. And in what would be another shocker if he made it, Nick Leddy is still around. Smart money says that both are sent down, but at this juncture of camp, nothing can be too surprising, though the Hawks carrying two 19-year olds might qualify.