Jeremy Morin still in contention

Updated: October 1, 2010, 4:32 PM ET
By Jesse Rogers |

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks shaved their roster by five in advance of their final two games of the preseason, but the surprise of camp is staying.

Jeremy Morin not only will play Friday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he'll line up with Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane to start the game.

"In his case he's deserved the added look, and the opportunity right there in front of him is pretty juicy," coach Joel Quenneville said Friday. "It's a pretty nice spot to see how he plays [Friday], we'll see how he does."

Defenseman Brian Connelly and forwards Kyle Beach, Igor Makarov, Brandon Pirri and Ben Smith were sent to Rockford of the AHL .

Morin has been the talk of camp, and at 19 he was considered a long shot to make the club. Brought in from Atlanta in the trade that sent Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel and Ben Eager to the Thrashers, Morin is taking his stay in stride.

"I just take it day by day here," Morin said. "There were some cuts today, and it's just one step closer to everybody's goal, but you just have to take it in stride."

Forward Jack Skille injured his arm Thursday night and is day to day, so it's unclear if Morin will stick around for the regular season opener Thursday. But the way Quenneville is talking, don't bet against it.

"We're fielding lineups, for sure, up front that look very close to what we are going to start with, so it's a good opportunity to get our game where we want it to be," Quenneville said.

Including the injured Skille, the Blackhawks have 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies on the roster. They can have no more than 23 players once the regular season begins.

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPN1000 and

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for and ESPN Radio 1000.