Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald and Bob McKenzie recently tweeted that the Blackhawks have released Jeremy Morin to Team USA to play at the 2011 World Junior Championship.
According to McKenzie, Morin will join the U.S. squad today. I don’t know whether or not he will suit up for tomorrow night’s exhibition against the Czech Republic, but the fact that he’s going to be in camp has got to make head coach Keith Allain smile.
Also, kudos to Jim Johannson, Team USA’s GM, for being patient and working with the Blackhawks to get this done. Playing in an expanded role this year for Team USA, will do nothing but help Morin’s development and the Blackhawks origination obviously feels the same way.
Team USA now gets a bonafide scoring threat in Jeremy Morin. His NHL experience will be valuable to the U.S. squad as well. With nine NHL games under his belt, Morin has two goals and an assist to his name, as well as a plus-2 rating.
The U.S. National Junior Team will now have three players with NHL regular-season experience to look to. Each of which has already scored a goal at the NHL level. Kyle Palmieri appeared in 10 games with the Anaheim Ducks, while Nick Leddy skated in six games with the Blackhawks. They also have AHLer Jerry D’Amigo to count on.
I have no doubt that Morin will be THE go-to scoring threat for Team USA, and he’s worn the crest three times in IIHF events. His international experience and his style of play makes him as important a player for this team as any.
Morin’s return isn’t going to make everyone smile, though. His presence takes away another spot from a forward. With six returnees up front, the competition ramps up for the other 11.
Should be an exciting and tense couple of days as every practice and every shift of the exhibition game will be analyzed.
Awesome, glad to see the hawks step up and let him go to the WJC. I love it when a plan comes together!