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Flyers’ Samuel Morin ‘really, really wanted to be a hockey player,’ but has no regrets

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Samuel Morin, Philadelphia Flyers
Defenseman Samuel Morin displays the puck last season from his only goal in 29 career NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers. Photo: Zack Hill.

Samuel Morin, the big Philadelphia Flyers defenseman who was forced to retire because of severe damage to his right knee, did a conference call with reporters Thursday and reiterated what he told Philly Hockey Now two days ago.

That he left everything on the ice and has no regrets.

That he was at peace with stepping aside as a player, primarily because he has known about it for a few months and has had time to come to terms with it.

That hockey is his life and he plans to remain in the sport in some capacity with the Flyers and “move up the ranks.”

Gave ‘absolutely everything’

“You look yourself in the mirror every night before you go to bed,” the 6-foot-6, 230-pounder said in a Zoom call from Quebec City, “and I gave it absolutely everything. I played hurt for so long. I was really banged up.  My knee was really bad. Even last year, I played hurt. My meniscus was really banged up, almost a tear. I really, really wanted to be a hockey player, but this year when I got hurt again in training camp, I knew it was pretty bad.”

Morin, a happy-go-lucky sort who played just 29 NHL games, said he was told he would be fine, but reality set in around Christmas that his career was on the verge of being over.

“You look yourself in the mirror, and I gave it my all, so I’m not ashamed of myself at all,” he said. “I have no regrets.”

A first-round selection (No. 11 overall) in 2013, Morin has had discussions with GM Chuck Fletcher about working in the Philadelphia Flyers’ organization.

“It’s something I’m going to need to analyze this summer,” Morin said about what job he hoped to pursue. “I have to take my time. I had a really good talk with Chuck before I left; he’s a really good person and he understands my situation. He respects what I did in my career. Coming back from all those injuries, being a first-rounder, and all those expectations. I’m sure I can help some young player in the minors with all that stuff. I have to see all my options.”

Undecided on new role

He said staying with the Philadelphia Flyers “would be awesome for me, but I really don’t know right now what’s best for me.”

Morin, 26, said he was away from his parents, his younger sister, and friends for a long time because of COVID, and being back home was good for him.

“I really missed my family during these years. I was kind of alone because I needed to be in Philly to work out because Quebec was so shut down,” said Morin, adding he was proud of himself for enduring the physical and mental pain of three knee surgeries, a broken jaw, and numerous other physical problems. “Right  now, my mental state is good from being with my family. I have good support here in Quebec.”

PHN: Best part of Fletcher’s comments: Youth will be served for Flyers next season 

Morin said he will miss his teammates, miss traveling with them and joking around with them in the locker room and at practices.

“I’ve been so lucky to be here with the Flyers,” he said. “They’re really, really good guys, and I’m very grateful.”

He was asked how difficult it would be not to have hockey as his identity.

“Honestly, hockey is my life and will be my life,” he said in a good-natured tone. “I want to stay in hockey. I told my parents, too. I love it. I absolutely love it. I was hurt for a long time and I watched a lot of hockey. I think in life, sometimes stuff happens and you keep moving forward.”

Added Morin: “I’m young. I’m gong to be 27 soon, and I’ve got so much stuff moving forward for me and I’m looking forward to it, for my future job. This is what I want to do. I want to stay involved with hockey. I know it for sure. I love it. I think I can go up the ranks.”

He said he will have the same attitude working behind the scenes as when he was a little kid whose goal was to reach the NHL.

“I want to graduate the ranks, and someday be higher up in those ranks,” he said. “Hockey is always going to be a a part of me, for sure. … I’ve got to give it my all. Give all my heart, and I have to have the same attitude” he had as a player.

Kapanen hired

Former Flyer Sami Kapanen, 48, was named the organization’s European Development and Pro Scout, and Kyle Shero was selected as an amateur scout, Fletcher announced.

The Flyers need to upgrade their selection of European players.

Shero, 23, the grandson of the late Fred Shero, the iconic coach of the Flyers’ 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cup champions, will primarily be responsible for scouting high school, junior, and NCAA players in the New England region.

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