Though not quite as exciting as the two deals yesterday, another trade has gone down in the NHL today. As the Tampa Bay Times reports, the Lightning and Arizona Coyotes have agreed on a swap of forward prospects. Heading to Tampa is Stefan Fournier, while Jeremy Morin heads to Arizona. Neither minor leaguer is much of a threat to become an impact NHL contributor any time soon, but may be able to help their respective AHL franchises.
It’s not the first time that Morin has been on the move; far from it in fact. The 25-year-old winger was a second-round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers back in 2009, but was traded not long after in the summer of 2010. Following an 83-point season with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, Morin was one of the main pieces that went to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Dustin Byfuglien. Morin then broke into the NHL in 2010-11 at the age of 19. However, he was used sparingly in five seasons in Chicago, recording 16 points in just 54 games. Believing that Morin had stopped developing, the Blackhawks flipped him to the Columbus Blue Jackets midway through the 2014-15 season for another struggling prospect, Tim Erixon. After just a half-season in Columbus, Morin was on the move again, heading back to Chicago alongside Artem Anisimov in the Brandon Saad trade. Chicago wasted no time in trading Morin yet again, this time in a deal that worked out much better than Erixon, a swap with the Toronto Maple Leafs for Richard Panik. Only two months later, Morin was part of a deadline deal that shipped him out of Toronto to the San Jose Sharks along with James Reimer. Finally in charge of his own fate, Morin signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Lightning when free agency opened on July 1st of this summer. In 43 games this season with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, Morin has 21 points, his best minor league season since 2013-14. However, that clearly hasn’t helped him find a permanent home, as he’s on the move yet again. Morin will report to the AHL’s Tuscon Roadrunners and will likely finish the season with the team before searching for a new opportunity once again this off-season.
Fournier has not had to endure quite the same treatment. The 24-year-old signed with the Montreal Canadiens in 2013 after a strong junior career in the QMJHL and played three seasons with the organization, in the AHL and ECHL, before being traded to the Coyotes alongside Jarred Tinordi in a three-team deal last season. Fournier has done little to help the Coyotes, or Roadrunners for that matter, in 2016-17 with just four points in 29 AHL games. With the move to Tampa Bay, more accurately the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, perhaps Fournier can find the scoring touch he had in juniors that he has been unable to find in the pros. Fournier will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so the remainder of the season should act as a tryout for an extension with the Lightning.