If I never had to see Sam Morin’s name pop up in a minor transaction, I would be a much happier person.
The Philadelphia Flyers forward(?) has almost become a meme. Ever since he was selected at 11th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, this archetype of a big, bruising, and nasty defender has carried him through the five years of his professional hockey career. Injuries have surely gotten the better of Morin—the 25-year-old has only appeared in 22 games between the Flyers and Phantoms since the 2017-18 season—but it’s truly time to admit that this is just not going to work out.
A relationship that has been stuck in neutral and the two parties are just keeping with it because they don’t know what else to do; the Flyers even decided to try him out as a winger coming into this season because they wanted to spice it up. It’s not even that bad if he was another tweener that was brought in to maybe make his mark of former potential, it’s the hollow trajectory that so many fans—and surely management as well—believe in. The hope that he can one day just turn on a switch and become some tall, gangly version of Ray Bourque, immediately fixing his skating style of sludging through wet cement while his whole body movement is of someone trying to swim while fully dressed.
Just this season while in Lehigh Valley, Morin was able to earn his first points since the 2017-18 season, and while points aren’t necessarily a solid metric to stand on for on-ice contribution, it comes to a point where you just have to point at his presence on the Flyers depth chart and go, “c’mon what the hell are we doing here?”
If this was another team, he would be cast into the depths until the end of the season and not even given a sniff of a qualifying offer. In fact, that would have probably happened just as he was coming off of his entry-level deal and any other team would have certainly not given him a three-year extension to figure it out.
It comes down to this obsession with former high draft picks. This immediate sense that you have to squeeze every ounce of value that they might have to not embarrass your scouting staff for recommending a player like Morin as an option. Sobbing uncontrollably as you peer over your shoulder at Josh Morrisey and Ryan Pulock—two defensemen taken soon after Morin—keeping stable top-four defender jobs for competitive teams. There is no potential left, the gigantic giraffe on skates has been dried out and deserves a life away from the pressure of being compared to Chris Fucking Pronger, all while more media members still hold on to the hope of him bringing something at the NHL level.
Even going so far as to switching positions, like a miserable parent forcing their child to try another extra-curricular activity to eventually live through them. It’s just a last ditch effort for someone that has already had their time to show something.
AV on Morin: He was working on forward skills. Versality to play different positions can only help. But he's more familiar and comfortable on D, and jumped right back in there (in LV). He's an option for us at either spot.— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) March 25, 2021
Like, c’mon Alain. I’m just growing so tired of this.
This isn’t even an argument against Morin. By all accounts from every reporter, he is a smart and kind person that you want to support. But this insistently growing hum of wanting him to become the savior of the blue line among the fanbase is wanting me to take a screwdriver to my ear canals.
Simply put, he should no longer be considered as an option. Let him live his days in Lehigh Valley, as a defenseman, and find a job with some other franchise as a depth player. Morin is not the answer to the Flyers’ problems and no matter how high he was selected, shouldn’t really be involved on an NHL team anymore.
The dream is over and was over a long time ago. Let’s focus on something else that is actually real.