Stingrays’ Morin Returns To Playmaker Role

By Andrew Miller
The Post and Courier

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – For longer than Travis Morin can remember, he’s always enjoyed passing the puck more than scoring goals.

The second-year pro will take a tape-to-tape pass over a slap shot any day.

So, a year ago when he was asked to be more of a goal scorer in his first full professional season with the South Carolina Stingrays, Morin was a little out of his element.

“It’s not like I don’t like to score goals,” Morin said. “I mean, who doesn’t like to score goals? It’s just that growing up and for most of my college career, I was always more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. I like passing the puck and getting everyone on the ice involved in the play.”

“It really wasn’t until my last two years of college and then last year here that I was counted on to be more of a goal scorer. I can do both, but being a playmaker is a role I’m probably a little more comfortable with because I’ve done it longer.”

After leading the Stingrays in every major offensive category last season — 84 points, 34 goals, and 50 assists — Morin feels like he’s returned to his more traditional role of playmaker this year.

“My role is a little bit different than it was last year, but I’m not complaining,” said Morin, who has four assists in three games so far this season. “I’ve got no problem dishing the puck a little more than shooting. I’m going to take a shot when it’s there, but I’ve got two guys on my line that like to shoot, so I want to keep feeding them the puck.”

Morin’s linemates — rookies Maxime Lacroix and Michael Dubuc — have combined for 29 shots through the first three games of the season. Dubuc fired off 11 shots, scoring three goals, in the Stingrays’ 4-1 victory over Florida this past weekend.

“Max and Michael both have great shots and they’re not shy about taking them,” Morin said. “We see it all the time out in practice. They both can pick corners all night. It’s a great thing to have on your wings. You give the puck to them and they’ll shoot it from anywhere, Michael especially. He’ll shoot it from the parking lot if he gets a chance.”

Stingrays coach Jared Bednar doesn’t see a much of difference in Morin’s role this season. A year ago, Chris Chaput had 25 goals and Cail MacLean added 21 playing on the same line with Morin.

“You look at what Travis did last season with Cail and Chris,” Bednar said. “He did a good job of moving the puck and setting those guys up, so honestly, I think his role is the same as it was last year. Travis has never been afraid of getting into traffic and firing the puck on net. I want him to do that.

“I can understand that he wants to get Max and Michael involved, but I don’t want him doing it at the expense of his own shot. I don’t care where the goals come from on that line as long as they come on a consistent basis.”