Samuel Morin is taking the long and winding road to the NHL, one that's now more rugged and elongated than ever.
The Flyers confirmed Thursday that Morin tore the ACL in his right knee when his skate caught a rut on the ice in Charlotte while he was attempting to check an opponent. The injury took place in the first period of the Phantoms' epic five-overtime game against the Checkers two weeks ago.
General manager Ron Hextall told the Courier-Post's Dave Isaac that Morin is facing a nine-month recovery process and that the 6-7 defenseman is "probably out until February" as he recovers from surgery - which Morin will undergo sometime in the near future.
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Morin's 2018-19 season will now be spent rehabbing from injury and utilizing what's left of the regular season working his way back with the Phantoms.
The Flyers' 2013 first-round pick is also a restricted free agent after playing out the final year of his three-year entry-level contract. In the five years since he was drafted, Morin has suited up for just three NHL games.
Expect the two sides to reach an agreement on a one- or- two-year extension rather easily since Morin doesn't have much leverage in negotiations at this point. Since Morin signed his rookie deal at the age of 18, he also had a five-year (or 160-game) waiver exemption that has now expired.
In other words, the Flyers will no longer have the luxury of shuttling Morin back and forth from Lehigh Valley without exposing him to the rest of the league if they attempt to send him back to the minors.
The Flyers have no choice but to give Morin the necessary time to ensure he's not only ready physically, but also that his game can be trusted at the NHL level.
Hextall has preached patience in the deliberate development of the organization's prospects.
Right now, Samuel Morin is the poster child for that process.