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Sunday, September 18, 2011
Blackhawks prospect returns to ice

By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Blackhawks prospect Jeremy Morin took to the practice ice Sunday for the first time since suffering a head injury in January against the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.

"I'm feeling good," Morin said. "It was good to get back out there practicing with the guys."

Morin was an up-and-coming player before he sustained the injury. He was acquired in the blockbuster trade with the Atlanta Thrashers in the summer of 2010 that sent Dustin Byfuglien to the Thrashers. He was impressive in training camp in the fall of 2010, and then played well in stints with the Hawks while being stationed in Rockford early last season. He had two goals and an assist in nine games in the NHL before going down.

"Injuries are all different," Morin said. "They take different times to heal and I really couldn't predict it."

Dave Bolland almost missed the entire last quarter of the season with a head injury but managed to play at the tail end of the Hawks' first-round playoff series against Vancouver. NHL superstar Sidney Crosby has been sidelined with a concussion since January as well but hasn't been cleared to play.

The next step for Morin is contact.

"It's the next step but I don't know when I'll be there," Morin stated. "I look forward to doing that."

As with Bolland last year, coach Joel Quenneville could only say the Hawks would take it day by day with Morin but the first step was practicing twice on Sunday.

"We'll see when," Quenneville said. "Contact is going to be part of it. We'll see how he progresses. The fact that he was out there is a good sign."

Like any player who has suffered a head injury and suddenly is cleared to begin a comeback, Morin is simply happy to be on the ice again.

"I haven't played in a little while and I'm anxious to get back," he said.

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com.