Samuel Morin used the phrase “work in progress” Tuesday when talking about his switch from defense to left wing. So did coach Alain Vigneault.
In other words, don’t expect the 6-foot-7, 230-pound Morin to be in the left-wing rotation any time soon. That’s no surprise because Morin has spent his entire career trying to prevent goals.
The most difficult part of the position change, Morin said, is getting into condition and keeping his feet moving.
“I didn’t play hockey for so long,” he said after the Flyers’ camp session in Voorhees. “Even if you work pretty hard, you need to play games and stuff to get your game shape going. That is a work in progress for me right now, but I am doing some good stuff out there. I think I had some mistakes today, but I [also] did some good stuff.”
Morin, 25, has been getting advice from assistant Ian Laperriere and former Flyer Danny Briere as he attempts to make the transition.
Because of injuries, including two ACL tears, Morin has played just 28 games (eight with the Flyers, 20 with the Phantoms) over the last three seasons.
“He’s got to get his conditioning, and his timing [down], and he’s got to learn this new position,” Vigneault said. “Not a lot of time. He’s working extremely hard, and we’re working with him. We’ll see how it all unfolds in the next little while here”
Morin has been asking his linemates lots of questions about his left-wing duties. He was on a line with center Connor Bunnaman and right winger Travis Konecny in Tuesday’s scrimmage.
He has also been watching video of Matt Martin, the Islanders’ physical left winger, for “30 minutes every day and before I go to bed to see what he’s doing. It’s so efficient and simple. It is kind of so easy, but he is really good at it. He is always in good position. He skates well, and he finishes every check,” Morin said.
Nolan Patrick, his playmaking skills on display, had another strong scrimmage as he centered Oskar Lindblom and Nic Aube-Kubel.
The other scrimmage lines: Sean Couturier centered Claude Giroux and Linus Sandin; Morgan Frost centered James van Riemsdyk and Joel Farabee; Kevin Hayes centered Michael Raffl and Zayde Wisdom; Scott Laughton centered Carsen Twarynski and Wade Allison; Bunnaman centered Morin and Konecny; and Max Willman centered Tyson Foerster and Jake Voracek.
Among the defensive pairings: Ivan Provorov and Mark Friedman; Robert Hagg and Shayne Gostisbehere; Travis Sanheim and Derrick Pouliot; Erik Gustafsson and Justin Braun; and Egor Zamula and Phil Myers.
The coronavirus has caused staff cuts at NBC Sports Philadelphia, and the latest is Katie Emmer. That follows the dismissal of Chris “Bundy” Therien. Both were on the Flyers’ pre- and post-game shows.
Former Flyer Scott Hartnell, Taryn Hatcher, and Al Morganti will handle the pre- and post-game duties, according to a network spokesman.