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Jeremy Morin skates on top line; Brent Seabrook leaves game after hit

Brent Seabrook left game after getting boarded by Rene Bourque. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Brent Seabrook left the game after getting boarded by Rene Bourque. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 20, 2012 8:20AM

There’s more to Jeremy Morin than a slick wrist shot and some speed. The rookie winger has a gritty side to his game that can put opponents on edge.

Despite playing with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Morin didn’t have too many opportunities to flash the offensive prowess that makes him one of the Blackhawks’ best prospects in their 4-2 victory Sunday against the Calgary Flames at the United Center.

But Morin’s edgier side came out as he got involved physically early on. He was called up from the Rockford IceHogs in the morning.

“Organizationally, he’s a player that we see as having a good future with us,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He’s played well in the minors this year. He’s got some upside offensively. But he’s got all the makeup to handle all situations, which is good.”

Morin, 20, was the notable prospect acquired in the deal with the Atlanta Thrashers for Dustin Byfuglien on June 23, 2010. He played in nine games last season for the Hawks and had two goals, an assist and a plus-2 rating.

After his stint with the Hawks, Morin suffered a concussion with the IceHogs and missed 41 games. His recovery lasted until training camp, and he wasn’t cleared for any preseason games despite practicing.

Morin missed the first two games of Rockford’s season before returning and had 15 points (five goals) in 22 games, including nine points in his last nine games.

“I was just excited to be back in the swing of things and finally playing every night, every weekend and getting back into it,” Morin said. “I was most excited about that. I know I had to prove that I could play again before I got the chance [with the Hawks].

“I wasn’t struggling in the beginning, but I thought it was a little tougher than I thought coming back [from the concussion]. I’m just excited to finally be back.”

Seabrook concerns

The uncertain status of defenseman Brent Seabrook looms large for the Hawks. He left the game with what’s believed to be a concussion.

Seabrook was boarded by ex-Hawk Rene Bourque and went face-first into the glass at 15:25 in the first period. Seabrook lay on the ice for several minutes. He left the ice without much assistance but didn’t return. Bourque was ejected and received a five-minute boarding penalty.

“He seemed not bad after the game; it was more precautionary,” said Quenneville, who’s hopeful that Seabrook will travel with the Hawks to Pittsburgh for the game Tuesday. “We’ll find out more [Monday], but he seemed all right.”

Seabrook has been the victim of dirty hits many times in his career and has a history of head injuries. But Seabrook, a major part of the Hawks’ success, has shown that he recovers quickly from such injuries.

Last postseason, he was hurt when hit in the head by Raffi Torres in Game 3 of the first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks. During the Hawks’ Stanley Cup-winning season, Seabrook was knocked unconscious by James Wisniewski during a game against the Anaheim Ducks. He also suffered a concussion in October that season.

In and out

Daniel Carcillo (upper-body injury) missed his second consecutive game. Sami Lepisto and Sean O’Donnell were healthy scratches as John Scott took the sixth-defenseman spot.

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