Could another quiet season from Jeremy Morin spell the end of his career with the Chicago Blackhawks?
When the Chicago Blackhawks had their great big salary dump in the two summers that followed their first Stanley Cup title in 49 years, the one piece that they received in return that anyone thought was of any value was Atlanta Thrashers prospect Jeremy Morin.
Seen as a potentially elite scorer, Morin was looked at as the type of player who wouldn't need too much more time to develop, and could be with the Hawks sooner rather than later. And now two summers after that trade was made to bring Morin in, we're still waiting to see him make an impact.
The 2012-2013 season marks the third season that Morin has been a member of the Blackhawks organization. The vast majority of that time has been spent with the Rockford Icehogs. The even greater majority of that time has been spent watching from the press box, due to health issues that cost him nearly a full season as he sat out with lingering concussion issues.
Even when he has been healthy, though, the Blackhawks haven't seen the type of consistent play from Morin that would earn him a permanent callup to the big club. In a couple of brief stints, he's been mostly invisible, and his numbers with Rockford last season were a bit less than what you'd like to see from a top offensive prospect.
Morin has the skill set to be a very effective player for the Hawks, there's no doubt about it. He's a scorer and he plays with a bit of an edge to his game. He'll play physical and get to the net. It makes those previous health concerns a bit greater, but his type of play would have made him an asset to the Hawks if he had managed to stick with them in one of his brief stints.
This lockout is Jeremy Morin's time to shine. Is it a make-or-break type situation for him yet? Probably not. But he needs to come out of this NHL lockout looking like he deserves a shot to make an impact with the Blackhawks. Once he gets said shot, he needs to take advantage of it, which is something he has been unable to do.
Since he's been a Blackhawk, several prospects have jumped Morin for a place in line to get a shot at the top level. If Morin doesn't prove that he belongs this year, he may very well be shipped off as part of a trade for a bigger piece at some point in the near future. He's not on high alert yet, but that could end up changing within the next couple of months.