Samuel Morin’s new challenge
Injuries may have got the better of Samuel Morin, the hockey player, but not Samuel Morin, the passionate about his sport. Officially retired last May, he began his new life a few weeks ago: that of player development coach with the Philadelphia Flyers.
When announcing his retirement in May, Morin had cast doubt on his future. However, he knew he would be in hockey and he had options on the table. In the end, he chose to stay with the team that believed in him from the moment they made him the 11th overall pick in the 2013 draft, and to help out the youngsters in the organization.
“I went through where they go. My role is really to supervise the young people who are drafted and to help them on their journey. I kinda play the role of big brother. I don’t go into strategies, I especially want to help them like no one else, on the ice, to become good professionals. »
Morin is therefore entering his first season as a retired player and, even if he claims to live well with his decision, he admits having had a twinge in his heart when the camp got underway.
“It always bothers me. Sometimes I said to myself: crime, I liked that! The guys had it tough at camp and I wish I was there. On the other hand, I think I can give a lot in my new role and I can help young people to progress. The Flyers put a lot of money into development. As an organization, we have to reach the next level and it will go through the young people, ”said the one who is now established in Saint-Nicolas, southwest of Quebec on the south shore.
What allows him to live well with his decision to retire from hockey at the age of 26, however, is that his body simply could not
« I’ve played injured all my career. In the end, I was taking a lot of anti-inflammatory pills because I wanted to play. And I was on adrenaline. It’s strong, adrenaline, when you fight for your career. The year of COVID, I had a torn meniscus in my knee and was still playing. My knee never came back and I have no cartilage in it. After seven knee surgeries, a doctor in New York told me that maybe I should quit. »
Even though his career was cut short and he never had the chance to develop to the full potential the Flyers saw in him when they drafted him so high in 2013, Morin has no regrets.
“I am 100% at peace with my decision. When I look in the mirror, I know I gave it my all. My teammates saw me and it’s not for nothing that the Flyers offered me this position. I think they respect my path and it’s experience that I can bring to young people. »
ON KNOWN TERRITORY
Although it was definitely a big life change, going from player to member of the development staff, the transition was done rather naturally for Morin since he remained within the only professional organization that he has known in his career of seven seasons, the last of which he did not play a match.
“It’s an environment that I know. I’m familiar with everyone in the organization and consider myself lucky to be able to work for an NHL team at 27 years old. Currently, I listen a lot and I want to learn. »
ROCHETTE IN THE TARGET
In his new position, Morin will have to travel the four corners of America to follow the hopes of the organization. And even if the Flyers haven’t drafted or signed him, Morin will have an eye on Remparts captain Théo Rochette.
“The Flyers like him and we’ll keep an eye on him. He did very well in camp and he will need to gain weight and physical strength. In his first game at the rookie tournament, he was dominant and in the second, he felt a little more tired. There is still room for improvement on the physical level, but his sense of the game is elite. This year, I expect him to dominate at the junior level. Then, he has a future with the pros, whether here or in Switzerland. »