31 thoughts on “Jeremy Morin Sent to Rockford

  1. I understand and agree. I simply think he is a better player than Bollig right now AND has a TON of potential.

  2. 2 things… first re: Mike – Bollig is on a one-way deal. Morin isn’t. This the options being a big deal.

    Second, here are the lines from today’s practice:


  3. I’m going to assume that Pirri is centering the third line so halfway through the first period, Shaw can slide to center and Kane can start double shifting.

  4. Tab, wouldn’t the cap space theoretically not be an issue since Handzus was already activated from LTIR? Meaning yesterday that Handzus, Hossa and Morin were all on the roster (with only Kostka and Khabi on LTIR).

  5. This is what Morin is…an AHL shuttle player for a good NHL team. He is what he is and this is absolutely the proper move, contract issues or not. Some of you can keep making him out to be something he never will be in this league. The skill set isn’t there and he lacks the intellectual capacity to seize upon opportunity to carve out a distinctive role on this club like Bollig and Smith have capably done.

  6. I thought Morin played his best game for the Hawks last night. Hopefully Zus can replicate his SC playoff performance and not his regular season numbers. The Hawks have so much depth its sick. I also like Shaw as a center because he is a flatout beast in front of the net. Morin will be back shortly, its a long season.

  7. Rufus…With Smith, I can agree. Bollig, not so much. I like Bollig, but…He is a forward that is not aggressive with the puck and is basically a dump and chase player. Kruger and Smith are producing in spite of Bollig, not with his offensive abilities. Morin would add to the aggressiveness of the 4th line. With Kruger and Smith both being defensively responsible, Morin would not be a liability.

    Tab, Do I understand this right? Bollig makes under $900k so demoting him would not count against the cap. Being a one way player would mean he receives his NHL salary regardless where he plays.

  8. He would have to clear waivers to be demoted. Same with Smith.

    Hawks have the salary cap to keep him up but Bowman isn’t going to let a prospect he likes sit in the press box.

    I wonder how many times Rufus has to be wrong about a player until he stops jumping to conclusions.

  9. When Bicks comes back is when 52 will split/rotate, etc. games… We are so stacked it makes me giggle, like that Johns hit.


  10. One way meaning if he gets sent down he needs to clear waivers. And as far as the fourth line producing in spite of Bollig I completely disagree. The guy wins countless board battles for that line and saying smith is much more than a dump and chase player is over shooting. Don’t get me wrong I like smith and all the guy does is work. But he is slightly more skilled than Bollig and doesn’t have his size. They both complement this line quite well. Kruger really is the one with the most offensive skill on this line. Both Bollig AND Smith are more suited for a dump and chase gritty type of line. IMHO

  11. JS clearly 88 has attempted some type of inroads upon Qs daughters, hence the disdain and game night punishment in front of 20k onlookers

  12. Bollig has carved out a quality role for himself. The guy works his tail off and has, generally speaking, been good on the 4th line. Sure he has limitations. But the guy is a smart hockey player who seized upon a golden opportunity and has become a staple of the 12 forward mix. Which is a lot more than can be said for Jeremy Morin who has been given innumerable opportunities and failed. The bottom line is Bollig is a legitimate NHL contributor on a Stanley Cup champion, whereas Morin is likely destined to join the likes of Jimmy Hayes in NHL hockey purgatory. Either that or become a career AHL type.

    So rip Bollig all you want, but I like what he does. Been following this game since the late 70’s as a diehard fan and guys like Bollig always find employment in this league. And I’ll trust the assessment of Bowman and Q any day of the week over the experts on the Internet.

  13. Eddy hit the nail on the head. It is guys who know and accept their role like Rosival, Bollig and Smith that often define winning NHL teams. Frolik was another marvelous example of a player who transmogrified his game to become a two-way player who works his ass off in the defensive zone to become a guy wearing a Stanley Cup ring. Eager was a guy like this for a time. Whereas guys like Hayes, Morin and others too often can have “more” talent on paper but never reach the level of consistent or rewarding NHL membership.

    I had my doubts about Smith, but he is making a believer out of me that he can be a decent role player for a season or two in Chicago. Bollig is in the same boat. Every week he needs to prove his NHL value to stick. But so far both these guys are going that just fine.

    And Handzus? I’ll bet the ranch you won’t find a single player on this roster who isn’t glad he is part of the forward mix.

  14. Sean Avery is the only guy in the history of the league that had teammates that openly said they didn’t like him. You really think Patrick Kane is glad that Handzus is his center? Like really?

    Rufus instead of just saying you don’t like people, say WHY you don’t like them. What is it about Morin’s game that you don’t like? What gives you the impression he doesn’t work hard? What aspects of Morin’s game does he fail in?

    I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly don’t dislike Bollig or Handzus on the roster. They both have their roles. But just like last year, Bollig is a 12th/13th man at best. Is Bollig really a better penalty killer than Versteeg or Sharp? So why is he getting those minutes?

    Handzus is not going to be able to survive playing the rest of the season with second line minutes and PK duty.

  15. Yea, Q said that 23 can & would play pk but not right at first… Plus maybe its good/better for his knee if he doesn’t now, but can if we need later. Handz is really good at faceoffs, so its a good for start of pk s. As long as Steeger & Sharpy are on pp then their on one of the them… I think only 19 & 20 are on both…

  16. I think the Versteeg-Pirri-Shaw line might be a pretty good line. I’m looking forward to seeing them play together – hopefully for all three periods against Calgary and a few more games after that. In other words – Q, please holster your itchy trigger finger for at least a few games in a row. I can see a pro and con with this lineup change. On the pro side, moving Shaw to the wing frees him up to forecheck more, plus it takes him out of the faceoff circle which is a good thing considering the other 4 centerman – Toews, Handzus, Pirri and Kruger – are all better at the dot than Shaw. The con would be not having Shaw in front of the net which is something he does as well, if not better, than anyone else on the Hawks. I suppose it’s less of a problem during the fluid play of even strength and he could still be the net front guy on the PP …

    The issue with Handzus on the line with Kane and Saad is not that concerning to me because I don’t think Handzus’ lack of speed is too much of a detriment. Usually when there is an odd man rush, it’s a 2 on 1 and Saad can skate with Kane so I don’t think Handzus lack of speed will eliminate those opportunities. Furthermore, if there is one thing Kane likes to do is curl off the boards and look for the trailer and having Handzus buzzing the gut looking for the one-timer set up from Kane could work out well. I know that’s probably “looking for a silver lining” rationale, but that’s all I got. :)

    But Pirri at 3C and Handzus at 2C are secondary stories – the main story is Hossa is back. Q can always mix and match as he desires during a game, and often does, but he can not have the luxury of having Hossa in the lineup if he’s not in the lineup. So with Hossa back in the lineup, it matters less who plays 2C and 3C than it would if Hossa were not back in the lineup.

    I guess the thing I have to remind myself when I get sucked into issues like whether Morin deserves to be in the lineup instead of so and so, is that the Hawks are in 1st place and there are 57 more games left in the season – there’s a lot more good than bad that has happened so far this season and there is still a long way to go. That helps me with just how important the issue of having Morin in the lineup is – not all that improtant. That’s not to say the Hawks can just hit the cruise control button and coast, there are individual and team improvements that should be addressed, but having or not having Morin in the lineup is not going to be a difference maker.

  17. So Jonathan Toews made me look like an idiot. Though I can’t say that is a hard thing to do. Though it is approaching the 30 game mark where he usually clicks into another gear so wow. Oops.

    Zues is useful. Should be on the roster. Should not be the second line center in any capacity unless some crazy stuff happens in the playoffs or there is a significant injury.

    Bollig is fine most nights. I’m not going to debate the 4th line. Seems kind of trivial at this point. Maybe Morin gives a bit more offensively. Maybe not. I can see him getting moved for futures at the deadline or before the draft. Whatever, it isn’t like they don’t have bodies.

    Weren’t Verbeauty and Handsome Pat the best penalty killing unit in the NHL in 2009-2010?

  18. Regarding Smith, Bollig & Morin: It’s really pretty simple. Smith and Bollig are on 1-way contracts and need to clear waivers to be sent down. Morin has a 2-way contract and can be sent down without the risk of getting claimed off of waivers.

    Do those that would rather have Bollig or Smith sent down REALLY want to see them get claimed for no return? It’s really not that complicated.

  19. ER- I have my real doubts on 37 working w/ 3rd line scenario… (only good is FO’s and 65 flying on wing)… offset by weaker board play/weaker net presence in general on line.
    but we shall see… best case is… they don’t stink – and 37 scores less… and is cheaper next year!!!

    Looking ahead… I thought Dallas was really fast/impressive in 1st meeting… actually outplayed Hawks- watched them again last nite -whooped a good Ducks team…
    If Dallas team makes a couple of good moves in near future… might have something.

  20. Wall- You’ll notice a common theme that so many teams need, blue line help. Then laugh at the luxury of a 3rd pairing of Leddy and Roszival. For the first two periods last night, the Stars were being beaten up pretty well by the Ducks, then that third period happened and whoops.

    Also, I can almost guarantee that if the game is close, Pirri gets benched, Shaw moves to center and Kane double shifts on the third line. Pirri is also really good in front of the net. Don’t you remember the game he got two tip in goals? Sure, one of them was against Crawford.. but it was a really nice redirection!

    Mr. Wangsauce- The Hawks don’t need to send anyone down. Morin fits under the cap as long as Kostka and Khabi are on LTIR. Bowman knows Q will make Morin sit in the press box every night so he’d rather him play 20 minutes a night at Rockford to sharpen his game.

    Morrison- I know at least earlier in the year when Handzus and Kruger were on the pk together, Kruger was still taking draws. Why I don’t know… if only someone asked Q.

  21. Good comments guys…I am not sure about whether Morin’s salary fits or not, but if he is not going to start each night, then he’s better off getting 1st line ice time in Rockford. Regardless of Rufus’ blind comments, Morin has played well, and had a really nice game in EDM. He’s a player and can help us…and I believe he will be back at some point this season, there’s just too much talent there to just sit in Rockford.

    As for Zus on the 2nd line, I think its a mistake…Pirri has not only become strong defensively and at the dot, but he’s established timing/rhythm with his wingers, especially Kane…there’s no coincidence that Kane has gone from a -9 to a -3, and is on a career high 11 game point scoring streak with Pirri as his centre…Q changes his lines around a lot, so this move will likely last as long as this new line is successful…

    Zus is a benefit on the roster, IF he can skate…prior to his last injury and in his first game back, Zus was consistently a step too slow in the DEFENSIVE zone, let alone on the offensive side…EDM’s only goal came from Zus “floating” defensively and not having the jump to get to his man in the slot…is this something that will come back around with some playing time, or at his age, with this latest barrage of injuries, is Zus done? He’s been sub 50% at the dot for us since he came here, but does add a lot of smarts and a leadership presence…he’s a quality player, I just wonder if he is finally done or not…I’m guessing Bowman will be watching Zus closely over the next 10 games.

    As for the 3rd line with Versteeg-Pirri-Shaw…I like it, and know it will be effective, but as what? A 3rd line or a 2nd line??? These 3 have the talent to score, so I wonder about their “role” playing together…and I’m with Wall and others that Shaw has more value as a centre than a wing…so we will see…

    And I completely understand JS’s comments about Q and Kane…you know Kane’s game isn’t defence, so why saddle him with Zus as his Centre??? Kane has skated a lot of games in Chicago withOUT a 2nd line centre playing next to him…so it does beg the question…

    As for Bollig, ideally I would like to see Brandon rotating in that 12th forward spot, but if we don’t have the CAP space for it, then he starts, as he and Smith have one way contracts…Bollig has played better his last 2 games after a pretty bad stretch, so let’s hope he is trending towards getting better…he skates well for a big man, he just needs to remember his positioning…and how to hit the net when he shoots…but again, for Rufus or anyone else, answer me this…if Bollig is NOT out there to intimidate anyone or protect anyone (which is clear he does neither) then is he the Chicago Blackhawks absolutely best option as the 12th forward? Because if he is not, then its clear he’s there as a coaching “choice”…Q is old school…he likes to have Bollig’s muscle there for a rainy day, and if he’s no longer hurting us, then Q’s theory is obviously to play him lots, so that he can improve his overall game and start HELPING us…that’s why Q gives him PK time and pretty big minutes for a 12th forward…but again, is this necessary? Is his potential fighting ability worth preventing a strong offensive talent like Morin to sit in the minors???

    But hey, as ER said, this is a relatively small question to ask with a hockey team this good, and an organization to match…

  22. I actually think Kane is kind of an underrated defender.

    Still early in the season but hes 17th in the league in takeaways which is kind of cool. (Hossa is 2 and Saad is 10). Last season he was 18th. And the season before that he was 8th (playing center). So obviously he will work to get the puck. He will go down low to help out. Sharp conversely, who is typically lauded for his defensive prowess, hangs out in the OV position a lot of the time (and to be honest if I played with Toews and Hossa I would too).

    If you look at the quality of competition numbers it isn’t like he plays against scrubs. Maybe gives stuff away trying to do some cute stuff every now and than or exits a bit early but I wouldn’t classify him as a poor defensive player. Pretty complete aside from being a lil guy.

  23. AJ- good point on 88… I have been one of the biggest Haters regarding 88 and D play…
    but in last two years he has improved drastically… I really give a lot of the credit to 81… Just watching 81 backcheck, lift the stick, and use speed from behind to get the puck back relentlessly has had a HUGE positive effect… AND of course Kane has to get BUY into it!!! and he has- so Kudos to Kane!

    I will add that most Kane’s best D is in the O/neutral zones… still a HUGE improvement.

  24. JS, maybe Handz still was healing up wrist area & to help Krugs get better at faceoffs/in game practice…

    As for having a really deep roster, the same thing happens in playoffs everytime we have that depth. Burr (was hurt), Frazal, Bollig, etc. didn’t play much by the time we got to the playoffs. Even though they played most of the reg./season games…

    We need everybody at different times all throughout the year…

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