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Blackhawks trade Jeremy Morin to Columbus for former first-rounder

Jeremy Morin wanted the Blackhawks to play him or trade him.

They traded him.

The Hawks on Sunday sent Morin to the Columbus Blue Jackets for 23-year-old defenseman Tim Erixon. Erixon made his debut with the Hawks on Sunday night against Calgary, wearing No. 34 and slotting in alongside Michal Rozsival on the third pairing.

“It’s a good chance for [Morin] to play, and a good opportunity for Timmy to join our organization,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “He plays the left side, nice spot. He and Rozy look like it could be a good pair for us.”

Erixon is the fourth Swedish defenseman on the roster now (though he was born in New York while his father, Jan, played for the Rangers), and will battle old friend David Rundblad for the sixth spot on the blue line. The former first-round pick of the Calgary Flames (2009) has played with the Rangers and the Blue Jackets. In 19 games this season, he had a goal and five assists while part of a logjam at defense in Columbus. The offensive-minded Erixon said he can “move the puck around pretty good.”

“Exciting, for sure,” he said. “[Chicago is] a classic team with great history.”

Erixon played only 10 minutes, 43 seconds in his debut in Sunday night’s 2-1 win over the Flames with three shot attempts, and acquitted himself well. Quenneville made it sound like he’ll be a regular in the lineup.

“I liked him,” he said. “He’ll get more comfortable with his partner and our system and his teammates, but he got acclimated real quick. His decision-making and positioning was very aware. Good beginning for him.”

As for Morin, after going pointless in 15 games this season, he was a healthy scratch for eight straight games before, according to sources, he requested that the Hawks trade him if they weren’t going to play him. The Hawks sent him down to Rockford of the AHL for a “conditioning” stint to buy time.

Morin spent parts of five seasons with the Hawks after coming over in a trade from the Atlanta Thrashers in the summer of 2010. In 54 career NHL games, he had eight goals and eight assists. He showed some offensive flair with a physical edge to his game, but never managed to win over Quenneville, who rarely played him more than 8-10 minutes a game.

“It’s a good situation for both teams,” Quenneville said. “I hope Mo does well.”

Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com
Twitter: @marklazerus