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Ex-Blackhawks winger Jeremy Morin embracing larger role in Columbus

Jeremy Morin will get a look on the Columbus power play tonight vs. the Blackhawks.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jeremy Morin doesn’t want to dwell on the past, on whether he got a fair shake with the Blackhawks or whether he ever had Joel Quenneville’s trust.

“I don’t really want to get into that,” he said. “It’s in the past.”

Morin’s in Columbus now, traded last week for defenseman Tim Erixon. And he’s happy to be here, happy to playing a few more minutes a game, and happy to get a chance on the power play tonight for the Blue Jackets, who have been decimated by injuries up front.

“It’s about going into a situation and making the most of it,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. “There’s a great opportunity right now based on the number of players we have out of the lineup.”

In two games with the Blue Jackets, Morin has an assist — one more point than he had in 15 games with the Hawks this season — and has averaged about 12 minutes of ice time. With Boone Jenner joining Columbus’ long injury list, Morin’s opportunity will continue to grow.

“It makes a big difference,” Morin said of the added minutes. “I’m going to have to keep earning that ice time when I’m here. It’s just not going to be given to me.”

Morin had his chances in Chicago, but they were limited. A more offensive-minded player, he usually found himself in a bottom-six role in five years worth of NHL stints — that is, when he wasn’t a healthy scratch. Quenneville kept him on a short leash, and seemingly every mistake and every penalty cost him ice time.

Morin, who called the Hawks a “first-class organization” and said he went out with a “couple of guys” on Friday night, assumed some of the blame for that, though. Even in a limited role, no points is no points.

“It’s tough,” he said. “Obviously, I didn’t play the hockey I wanted to play in the beginning of the season. That’s in the past. I’m just looking forward here to try to start a new chapter in my career here.”

Now under Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, Morin’s restarting the process of earning trust.

“Anytime you have a [new] coach, you try to build his trust and play in his system,” he said. “His system is a little different, I’m trying to pick it up as quickly as possible and play my game. Again, try to win him over and just help the team win.”


Twitter: @marklazerus