Friday, March 27, 2015
Born on this date in 1969, Stéphane Morin played junior hockey for the Shawinigan Cataractes and then the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. After splitting the 1987-88 season between the two clubs, Morin would get himself noticed with 77 goals and 109 assists for 186 points in just 77 games in 1988-89, which led to him being drafted 43rd overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques.
He would spend the majority of the 1989-90 season with the Halifax Citadels of the American Hockey League, but would make his NHL debut with six games with the Nordiques, in which he would register his first NHL points with a pair of assists.
While he would split the next two seasons between Quebec and Halifax, he would see action in 48 NHL games, which included scoring his first NHL goal, in 1990-91, a season in which he would place fourth in scoring for the Nordiques with 13 goals and 40 points despite only competing in a total of just 48 games.
The 1991-92 season with Quebec as a disappointment, with just two goals and eight assists for ten points in 30 games.
Released by the Nordiques organization, Morin signed with the Vancouver Canucks in 1992. Assigned to the Hamilton Canucks of the AHL, Morin led the team in scoring with 31 goals and 85 points in 70 games. He did play a game in Vancouver, registering an assist, in his only NHL appearance that season.
The following season was very productive offensively for Morin, as he again led Hamilton in scoring with 109 points in 69 games, good for fourth overall in the AHL that season. He would also contribute a goal and an assist in five games with Vancouver.
With his time in Vancouver at an end, Morin signed on with the brand new Minnesota Moose of the International Hockey League, who came into being to fill some of the void left by the departure of the Minnesota North Stars. Morin not only led the Moose in scoring, but the entire IHL in 1994-95 with 33 goals and 81 assists for 114 points in 81 games.
His point total would decline the following season to 78, but he would still lead the Moose in scoring.
1996-97 saw Morin and the team move to Manitoba, but he would find himself moving to the Long Beach Ice Dogs, still in the IHL, after only 12 games in Winnipeg. Long Beach was a strong team that season, winning the South Division and making it all the way to the IHL Turner Cup Finals. Morin, making the first real playoff run of his professional career, responded with 19 points in 18 games.
Morin's next season with Long Beach was limited to just 27 games in which he scored 27 points. Another playoff run for Long Beach would see them win a pair of rounds before falling in the semifinals, but not before Morin would contribute 11 points in 13 games.
For the 1998-99 season, Morin relocated to Europe, signing with the Berlin Capitals of the DEL.
Off to a good start in Germany, Morin scored a pair of goals plus six assists for eight points in his first handful of games, but then shockingly and tragically, after complaining of not feeling well during the first period of the seventh game of the season, Morin died of a heart attack at the age of 29 on October 6, 1998 after he collapsed at the bench early in the second period leaving behind a wife and newborn son.
Today's featured jersey is a 1994-95 Minnesota Moose Stéphane Morin jersey from the season Morin led the Moose and the IHL in scoring.
The Moose would only play two seasons in Minnesota and Morin would hold the team records for most assists and points in a season, as well as career goals, assists and points, as well as games played.
While the three color combination of the forest green trim and purple outline against the black was a questionable choice at best, as the separation of the green from the purple and black is nearly impossible to make out for even the larger numbers and really becomes a dark mass when reduced in size for the name on the back.
While the back of the jersey has it's flaws, the front of the jersey is a winner, with the IHL 50th Anniversary patch providing a shot of color and the very popular Moose logo, which was ranked #1 in a poll by The Hockey News and led all minor league teams in terms of merchandise sales, making for a very attractive jersey.
Today's videos begin with some game action of the Moose from the 1994-95 season.
But what would minor league hockey be without the fights? Here is some rare footage of the Moose playing at the St. Paul Civic center with solid white dasherboards after having replaced the original clear boards due to their age and the advent of dasherboard advertising rendering them ineffective.
For comparison, here's some footage from the St. Paul Civic Center in 1984 with the original set of clear boards.