The bizarre Blackhawks career of Jeremy Morin came to an end Sunday night — again — as the forward was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for 24-year-old forward Richard Panik, who will join the Hawks roster.
Morin, once one of the Hawks’ top prospects, requested a trade last season after falling out of favor with Joel Quenneville and registering zero points in 15 games. The Hawks sent him to Columbus on Dec. 14, 2014, only to reacquire him in the Brandon Saad trade over the summer. Morin had nine goals and 13 assists in 28 games with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL this season, and had eight goals and eight assists in 54 career games with the Hawks over five seasons.
Panik has nine goals and 16 assists in 33 games with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies this season, but has 19 goals and 20 assists in 151 NHL games with the Maple Leafs. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville called it a much-needed “fresh start for both guys.”
“They’re proven guys who have had an opportunity in the NHL at some point in their careers,” Quenneville said. “I’m sure they’ll get looks. I wish [Morin] well. Certainly added depth for us coming back again. He didn’t get a sniff this year, but we’ll see what happens in Toronto for him.”
Quenneville said he sees Panik helping out on the left wing, a trouble spot for the Hawks all season after trading away Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad and Kris Versteeg over the summer.
“We see guys in the league who lose that opportunity, [and] a new destination, a new opportunity, new linemates, new team can rejuvenate some guys,” Quenneville said. “The thing is, the opportunity, you have to take advantage of it, and he’ll certainly be given the opportunity.”