Morin Up

After a game in which the Hawks really weren’t all that concerned with fielding the most competitive team possible, there’s been a sudden change in philosophy as Jeremy Morin was recalled from Rockford today.  It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise because after the embarassment that was Wednesday’s game, the front office doesn’t want to risk a severe beating at the hands of a team fielding four ex-Hawks.  Nor does Stan Bowman want to anger Joel Quenneville more than he already has.

Morin was one of Rockford’s best players at the start of the season but was injured a couple weeks ago in a game against Abbotsford.  He just returned last weekend and didn’t register a point in their last two games.  

Morin has a similar contract stipulation as Nick Leddy.  Since he’s still just 19 and doesn’t turn 20 until the spring, if he plays less than 9 NHL games then he doesn’t lose a year off his 3-year rookie deal.  So this will be an interesting chance for Morin and it will also be an interesting glimpse into the Quenneville/Bowman dynamic.

There’s no doubt that Quenneville loves Morin.  As such, he’ll likely have a lot of rope.  When the 9 game deadline approaches, however, Bowman may not want to burn a year off Morin’s deal.  Assuming Morin doesn’t light the world on fire in the next stretch of games, the decision may become a hot button issue for the coach and general manager. 

It certainly bears watching.

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17 Responses to Morin Up

  1. feyer says:

    It’s just my opinion, but in the NJ postgame interview, Q appeared to be not entirely happy about the choices leading to having 2 D play on the fourth line, so – yea – I can be convinced that there is some difference of opinion between him and Stanley. Whether that grows into something significant is yet to be determined, but how Morin is handled certainly could play into that, but I expect that Hossa and Boland will be healthy before the 9 games are played.

  2. John says:

    You’re not the only one to make that observation about the post-game interview.

  3. Marts says:

    I’m excited to see him (Morin) out there. Please let him loose for 15+ minutes with a couple of those on the PP. I have a feeling he’ll show up with some enthusiasm (which will hopefully invigorate some of our top guns).

    As for the Q/Bowman differing opinions I can see logic to both sides (if sides truly exist). One the one hand, was there a better game to roll the dice with 2 d-men as forwards then playing a wounded (bad) Devils team at the end of a 6 game road trip on home ice? The flip side (Q’s side) would be is there a better time to come out guns Blazing and try to get 2 points that might be critical at the end of the season. You can’t piss away points, but you’ve got to pick your spots if you’re cap constrained. I can’t say which side I would advocate for…

  4. Brian says:

    So our coach doesn’t pick the players for the game, the GM does? Is that standard practice around the league?

  5. John says:

    I think that’s looking too far into it. Quenneville makes up the lines with the players he’s given. As the quotes from yesterday showed when he basically claimed ignorance on money decisions, Bowman decides what to do in terms of being in compliance with the cap.

  6. John says:

    I should probably elaborate…In terms of call-ups and re-assignments (which is what this whole thing is about), that is the general manager’s call. It’s not like a head coach spends his free time watching every farm game. When Ben Smith was called up, Quenneville said something along the lines of “I’ve been told he’s playing very well down there and deserved the opportunity.” That basically tells me he had no real say in who was coming up.

  7. Marts says:

    I would say your elaboration is correct John. Apparently last season in Calgary there was such disconnect between Coach and GM (Brent & Daryl) that they weren’t even on speaking terms as the season ended (google – Eric Francis Calgary Sun article). I’m not suggesting that the Q/Stan relationship is anywhere near there but I firmly believe that in today’s cap system the coach must stay somewhat ignorant of the cap/cash/movement of players. Obviously the gold standard would be operating without any cap concerns but I don’t think that’s realistic (returning a Stanley Cup team with the Isles cap number or no cap at all).

    This is certainly a topic for another day, so I won’t beat it to death, but if moves like the Scott/Hendry 4th line are truly related to nickel-and-diming the cap space then I think we’re finally realising the finite cash effect of the current bargaining agreement. That is, looking at the cap ceiling (each year), multiplying by 30 (for teams in the league) and summing that figure. Each new contract signed is tightening the strings on player movement and availability for teams across the league and I suggest it will worsen as we close in on the end of the current CBA.

    Sorry, that’s a bit off topic and a lot to think about for a Friday…

  8. Lou says:

    Marts, there were 6 Sutter brothers and only 4 brains. Really three if you count the twins as sharing one.

  9. Cam says:

    This is a desperation move. With last year’s roster, Morin gets developmental time in the AHL all year. But, they really need him soon and with the Hawks being mediocre, I suppose it won’t hurt to get him acclimated.

    Meanwhile, the AHL Devils got blanked at home by the Rangers.

  10. Lou says:

    Really???? One of the last cuts from training camp = desperation? Was it desperation when a kid was named Captain? Last year’s roster is gone – move on. Oh and he wasn’t even in the Hawk System last year. Weren’t Dowell and Bickell on the Rockford shuttle last year? So calling him up as an injury replacement in a cap challenged team, is bad how??? Your right, let’s bring up Bollig or Klinkenhammer to a team that needs a spark.

    I want to know what outright panic looks like. We are doomed abandon ship. Unbelievable.

    Look up to the rafters and think how many more banners would be nice in the next 10 years and ask you self would you rather have last year’s roster and one moment in time or this year’s roster and the talent funnel and a whole bunch of those moments.

    As Savard says Commit to the Indian.

  11. Cam says:

    Toews has the mental acumen and maturity of a 50-year-old 4-star General. That he was named captain that young on a team without any other obvious choices was not a bit surprising.

    You missed what I’m saying re: Morin which is that it’s an indictment of the current NHL roster. I also didn’t say it was a “bad” move. I said it’s desperate and can’t see it doing much good.

    As far as panic goes, Lou have you watched the rest of the division play? Because the Hawks may be the third or, perhaps, fourth best team in the Central. This isn’t a five-game malaise. It’s 15 games now and there aren’t really any signs of improvement.

  12. Lou says:

    No I didn’t miss what you are saying. I don’t agree with you.

    Yeah, I have seen plenty of hockey and I guess your glass is half empty. I watched patty cake passing when a shot would work from the blue line the last two home games from my seats. I left as pissed off as anyone. But I also sat through the 92 run and the dark ages of Dollar Bill.

    Your points continue to come across pervasively negative and the season is over, sell your season tickets and we are returning to the dark ages of old Man Wirtz. One person posted that you have said we won’t make the playoffs since game three. This isn’t even close to that. It is a slow start of a young team that is also learning a very valuable lesson. What it takes to stay on top.

    Yeah, it’s a struggle. If anyone didn’t think it was going to be, they have been fooling themself. Add in the fact that this is a young team with still a very young Captain ann core and you have new challenges that mental acumen can’t overcome what life experience will teach.

    So let’s agree to disagree and hope the Hawks get it together.

  13. AC says:

    It’s about time this move was made. Morin was pretty obviously the last cut made out of the preseason and was deserved of a roster spot. Hopefully he can prove it over the next couple of weeks and this isn’t a 2 game stay until Hossa is back. However, if he is only asked to play 4th line (2nd line tonight) then send him back now.

    The fact that this team is barely above water is not surprising given the turnover and injuries. As the team starts to finally get all of the pieces back we should see what this team will really be. I think they really miss Hossa’s heart and tenacity. Hopefully we see another big November/December winning streak like last year.

  14. Cam says:

    Lou, the fact that the team is young isn’t relevant. They’re about the same collective age they were last year, and they are better in goal with Huet gone. But they are showing fatal deficiencies that they never showed last year at any point.

    The new players meme doesn’t explain the lousy play by numerous veterans lead by #2.

  15. Lou says:

    Cam, You are absolutely correct that veterans starting with #2 aren’t playing like they are capable of.

    However, you are dead wrong in thinking the youth has no impact here. Collective team age is not life experience. They are HUGELY different things. Thus, highly relevant and very applicable. This team doesn’t have the hockey life experience of having been there before

    Not a one of them knew:

    How to prepare for a short offseason they never experienced it, They have no one to tell them what to expect that laces them up with them. It’s new to all of em.

    What to expect with a massively new team, they have had nearly the same teammates for 3 years. They guy on your right aint’ the same

    When to stop partying (and believe me they were out with Buff last night), So, when Q finally decides to pull in the reigns and skate some Herbies to sweat the jagger bombs out maybe that will change some things

    Finally, what it is like to be the 100% hunted – everyone wants to beat the Cup Champion. They think all they have to do is show up. Surprise that isn’t working.

    None of them have expereinced any of this. It is relevant because the more experience you have you know what to expect. These are the great lessons they need to learn to be there again.

    Thus, the preparation, the missing chemistry, the mistakes, the poor play, the lollygagging efforts are even more evident.

    Stay Committed – this team will figure it out. See Philadelphia Flyers 2009-2010.

  16. Lou says:

    all if is irrelevant when skating in a shape similar to the letter P. The position of one’s cranium firmly entrenched.

  17. Cam says:

    I’m sorry, but I’m not buying a short offseason as an excuse. Perhaps I am wrong, but I just don’t buy it.

    And being the hunted doesn’t explain the complete lack of defensive awareness or effort. It doesn’t explain the porous PK unit.

    The Flyers are a scary team to cite. Even if they somehow were similar to this Hawks team, they got into the playoffs on a tiebreaker in the lousy East. The Hawks have a far greater task in the brutal West playing in the best division in hockey.

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