The final cuts have come and gone. Youngsters made the team, others were sent up Route 476 to Allentown to play for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Everyone the Flyers placed on waivers made it through without a problem. Rosters are set for both the NHL & AHL, so what’s the problem?
Samuel Morin. Still.
Let’s not call him the problem. We should all be excited that he made the Flyers. Whether it was for fear of losing him to waiver claim, or he downright earned it. Morin made it as a Philadelphia Flyer. So why is this being written? What’s the gripe with Morin now?
The fact of the matter is that he made the team. The problem is that he made the team as a 7th defenseman. Albeit one game, Morin hasn’t seen the ice yet. There’s also no indication that he will be slotted into the lineup.
If you want to grasp at straws, you could argue that Hagg having the least amount of TOI against Chicago is an indicator. While that may be true, it appears that he’s still in the lineup moving forward.
Then we come to Philippe Myers and what’s happening with him. Morin and Myers are the odd men out on the blueline. With Myers being sent down to Lehigh Valley, it makes Morin’s path to the lineup easier. However, how long will Myers be a Phantom? Will he pile up points with the Phantoms, leaving no choice but to call him up to the NHL?
The fact that Justin Braun is in the lineup doesn’t do Morin any favors either. Do the Flyers need another shutdown defenseman in the lineup with Braun already suiting up?
When it comes to Samuel Morin, there’s more questions than answers.
There could be a role for Morin on this team if Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher decides to let Justin Braun walk at season’s end. Trading Braun at the deadline opens a spot for Morin as well. That doesn’t seem likely.
So where do the Flyers go from here? Realistically, there’s only one option to mold Morin into the player he once seemed destined to become. To get Morin to become that big, physical defenseman who contributes as well, you need to play him. Thats it!
Both Braun and Myers’ deals expire at the end of this season. Hagg’s does as well. Next year may be the year for Morin to become a mainstay on defense. Is that too late for the big man? He has two years remaining on his contract, but allowing him to sit most of this year will be a waste of one of those years.
This all boils down to whether Morin can show enough in practices to warrant a lineup spot over Hagg. Scratch that. He needs to show the coaches enough in practices to warrant a lineup spot over Hagg. There’s no other way to put it.
If Morin wants to factor into the future of the Flyers blueline, he needs to be in the lineup consistently by the end of this year. Letting him watch games from the press box does him no favors. If the season comes to an end and Morin is still flirting in and out of the lineup, it may very well indicate that his time has come and gone.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Co-host of the Pod Street Bullies podcast, Managing Editor of the Flyers division at Philly Sports Network. Follow me on Twitter @PodStreetBobb and follow the Pod Street Bullies @PodSTBullies.
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