Morin, a ‘tremendous kid' with ‘huge heart,' sees playing career come to end


VOORHEES, N.J. — Samuel Morin, a happy-go-lucky defenseman who had courageously fought for his career despite multiple ACL tears, will have to retire from playing.

The 26-year-old missed the entire 2021-22 season as he battled further issues to his embattled right knee.

"He won't be able to return to play, unfortunately," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Tuesday. "He's had too many knee injuries, he's not going to be in a position to continue his career. This offseason, we'll sit down with Sam and see if there's something that he would like to do going forward."

Fletcher said he has had a couple of preliminary conversations with Morin about potentially a different career route within the organization. They'll have more talks this summer.

"Just wanted to give him some time, it's been a long road for him," Fletcher said. "It's very emotional when you see your career slipping away because of things you can't control."

During November 2019, Morin tore the ACL in his right knee for the second time in a span of 19 months. Following another daunting surgery recovery, the 2013 first-round pick went on to play a career-high 20 games in 2020-21. Over the previous four seasons, his injuries limited him to nine combined games.

“It’s major surgery, you need help,” Morin said in May 2021. “For me, I broke my jaw, I’ve got a lot of injuries, but this was the most painful, after ACL surgery.

"I remember as soon as I stepped on the ice in training camp, I was like, ‘Man, I love that game.’ Good thing I didn’t give up, I just love it.”

More: 'I was really lucky to have her' — Morin endures thanks to mom's loving drive

The 6-foot-6, 230-pounder started last season with a position switch, moving to left winger, but eventually shifted back to defenseman. He performed well and had a special moment when he scored his first NHL goal with a third-period game-winner in a 2-1 decision over the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Morin was projected to be the Flyers' seventh defenseman this season but had to undergo a clean-out procedure on his knee Sept. 10. He was expected to be out for six to eight weeks, but his recovery hit roadblocks.

"Tremendous kid, huge heart, huge determination," Fletcher said. "Did everything he could to be a player; no one appreciated being a hockey player better than Sam Morin. But there's just, unfortunately, too much damage to the knee to resurrect his career."

More: Morin goes out same way he persevered — smiling, grateful and looking forward

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