Chicago Blackhawks

Hawk Talk: Rookie Morin proving his worth

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Hawk Talk: Rookie Morin proving his worth

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010
Posted: 11:03 a.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Jeremy Morin sat at his stall following the Blackhawks' victory over the Blues on Tuesday night, the stitches across his bruised nose earned in a late fight with someone he apparently scrapped with in the minors earlier this season.

Be it the brawl, his energy, his hits or his odd-but-effective pass that hit glass, bounced funny and turned into his first NHL point ("I'll take it and it wasn't what I drew up, that's for sure," he said), Morin was making the most of his third NHL game.

"I think he's trying to make a name for himself and stick here for a bit," said Patrick Kane.

Yes, he is. And yes, he should.

Morin was called up when Marian Hossa went down with a lower-body injury at Monday's practice. He's not here to replace Hossa. Not many can do that. But bring energy? Enthusiasm? A little grit? He can do that. And because he's doing that, he deserves to stay a little while.

Hey, we know Hossa's out for a bit, likely 2-3 weeks as coach Joel Quenneville told us all Tuesday morning. And on Saturday night in Los Angeles, general manager Stan Bowman said the salary cap was not a problem in bringing players up from Rockford.

"We can bring a guy up tomorrow if we want to," he said. "It's not a salary cap issue."

Bowman said that when the Blackhawks were healthy the lines were rolling and there was no need to bring up another body. Now they're ailing again and they could use Morin. Tomas Kopecky said Morin's outing on Tuesday was "huge."

"He was involved and he was unafraid," Kopecky said. "Even the first goal when I scored, he made the great play in the offensive zone with a big hit there. The second goal -- maybe you don't see those little things, but it was all his work along the boards -- he caught that pass and got it to (Patrick Sharp) and he scored. I like the way he played."

Morin said Tuesday morning that playing for the Rockford IceHogs has helped him prepare for the faster pro game. Neither that, nor his first call-up, however, helped him quell the butterflies entering Tuesday.

"I think I definitely had some nerves," he said. "I come here and I'm expected to perform. I just try to take a different approach, get some hits early and that kind of loosens me up a bit."

The 19-year-old Morin was oh-so close to making this Blackhawks roster out of training camp. He earned respect there. He earned more in his first call-up earlier this month in Atlanta when he blocked a shot off the back of his knee, curled up for a few moments on the ice, then tried to play again a few minutes later.

On Tuesday, he added a few more respect-earning moments. Morin was everywhere on Tuesday, landing a big hit here, logging some power-play minutes there and adding plenty of zip.

His teammates have noticed it all.

"He's done some crazy things since he's been in our lineup," Jonathan Toews said. "That shot block he came up with in Atlanta, everybody on the bench was in pain when we saw him take that puck to the back of the leg. It was surprising to see him go after the guy he did (St. Louis' Chris Porter on Tuesday). It's fun to see that. As long as he doesn't get hurt, it gives our team the energy."

He gave them plenty on Tuesday. So at least let him stay while Hossa's sidelined. He's earned it.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Where does Patrick Kane rank among Hart Trophy candidates for 2017-18 season?

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USA TODAY

Where does Patrick Kane rank among Hart Trophy candidates for 2017-18 season?

Patrick Kane is among the Hart Trophy candidates for the 2017-18 season, but what are his early odds to reclaim the title?

The 28-year-old Blackhawks star followed up an 106-point campaign in which he became the first American-born player to win the Art Ross and Hart Trophy by finishing tied for second in the NHL with 89 points last season.

But he's facing some tougher odds going into this year.

Bovada revelead Wednesday that Connor McDavid is the front-runner to repeat at 3/2 odds, followed by Sidney Crosby (5/2), Auston Matthews (17/2) and Alex Ovechkin (9/1). Kane ranks fifth at 14/1.

Here's the rest of the list:

  • Vladimir Tarasenko: 15/1
     
  • Evgeni Malkin: 16/1
     
  • Carey Price, John Tavares: 20/1
     
  • Jamie Benn, Steven Stamkos: 25/1
     
  • Erik Karlsson, Nikita Kucherov: 33/1
     
  • Jack Eichel, Ryan Getzlaf, Patrik Laine, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin: 50/1
     
  • Nicklas Backstrom, Brent Burns, Braden Holtby, Phil Kessel, Artemi Panarin, Joe Pavelski: 60/1


A couple solid value picks would be Karlsson at 33/1 and Burns at 60/1, both of whom made strong cases to be in that conversation last year as defensemen.

You'll also notice Panarin as a darkhorse candidate. It will be interesting to see how Kane and Panarin fare without each other in the prime of their careers. Who knows, maybe they'll be sharing the stage together as finalists in Las Vegas next June.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Bryan Bickell on journey with Blackhawks, battling MS

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Bryan Bickell on journey with Blackhawks, battling MS

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Bryan Bickell sits down with Pat Boyle and they discuss the retired player's journey to the NHL, which included being an Ottawa clubhouse assistant where he met future teammate, Marian Hossa.

Bickell admits when he finally knew he was a regular in the NHL, his incredible 2013 postseason performance and the historic 17 seconds in Boston.

Finally, Bryan gets emotional when discussing his MS diagnosis, his shootout goal in his final NHL game, and how his wife Amanda has been at his side throughout his entire hockey career.

Listen to the Hawks Talk Podcast below: