It’s been a busy few days for the Philadelphia Flyers and the pace isn’t slowing anytime soon. According to an official press release, the team have signed defenseman Sam Morin to a one-year contract extension with a $750,000 AAV.
After being drafted by the Flyers with the 11th overall pick in 2013, the 6’6, 202 lbs, defenseman has gone on to gradually carve a niche on the roster. He’s appeared in 29 total games for the Flyers over the past five seasons, but that exposure could’ve been so much higher had it not been for a pair of season-ending knee injuries.
20 of his 29 appearances came this past season, where he recorded 38 total hits and scored his first NHL goal. There is a slight concern with penalty minutes, however, with the 26-year-old ranking third on the team in this category (37). This is to be expected though with a player as physical as Morin.
Outside of his experience with the Flyers, he’s spent a lot of time down on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, registering 177 appearances and posting 44 points in the process. Penalty minutes have again been a concern, with morin spending 289 minutes in the box at the AHL level.
The Flyers have really shifted gears when it comes to their defense this offseason. Shayne Gostisbehere was shipped out and Rasmus Ristolainen was brought in to join fellow new signing Ryan Ellis.
We can assume that Ivan Provorov will be paired with Ellis, while Ristolainen will probably pair up with Sanheim on the second line. Whether or nor Morin will be able to sneak on to the third pairing remains to be seen, but the rise of Cam York is only going to make matters more complicated.
It’s worth noting that the team did experiment putting him out on the wing, but it wasn’t something that delivered a home-run hit instantly. There’s clearly an incentive to get Morin involved. A player of his size and physicality should be a tone-setter for the Flyers, but it’s not that simple. A cheap one-year deal at least gives him one more shot to find a consistent home on the team without too much in the way of risk. Here’s to hoping Morin can grow beyond a ‘seventh d-man’ role in 2021.
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