Flames sign Morrison
Free agent center to join the Flames top six forwards
|Brendan Morrison in action against Montreal last season
Veteran Brendan Morrison, who played for the Washington Capitals last season, has signed a contract with the Flames, the team announced on Monday.
The 35-year-old native of Pitt Meadows was recently on a professional tryout contract with Vancouver but was released on Sunday.That gave the Flames a chance to sign Morrison to shore up the centre position which is currently hit by injuries to Daymond Langkow (neck), Matt Stajan (shoulder), Ryan Stone (knee) and David Moss (shoulder). All four players are listed as indefinite with their injuries.
BRENDAN MORRISON HIGHLIGHTS
BRENDAN MORRISON CAREER STATS
"The emphasis is to get off to a good start and having a veteran in the top six is important," said Flames assistant general manager Jay Feaster. "That's not to say (players like Mikael Backlund) have not had good camps. The kids are going to be fine but right now we want a veteran."
"He's a good character guy," Feaster said of Morrison, who is expected to wear No. 8 as a Flame. "There will be no problem with him fitting into the dressing room."
Morrison has played with the New Jersey Devils, the Vancouver Canucks, the Anaheim Ducks, the Dallas Stars and, most recently, with the Washington Capitals.
Morrison, a native of Pitt Meadows, B.C., and former Hobey Baker winner, has played 829 NHL games tallying 187 goals and 360 assists for 547 points. With the Caps last season he had 42 points, including 12 goals in 74 games.
"I anticipate coming in and contributing. I am a versatile player who can play center and play wing," said Morrison, who was part of the Canucks 'West Coast Express Line' with Todd Bertuzzi and Markus Naslund.
While Morrison has obvious ties to the West Coast, he is looking forward to joining the Flames, which could be as early as Tuesday morning for practice.
"I think the team has good make-up. I think this team is in the mix in the West," said Morrison. "There is the potential to have three good scoring lines."
Feaster said the staus of the Flames injured players has not changed and that there is a possibility that one or two players could start the season on the long term injury list. Langkow is not skating at this point and has been prescribed rest by doctors.
"Having those guys healthy would be great. It's going to happen at some point but it won't be on our opening night," said Feaster.
NHL teams must submit their rosters on Wednesday.
BORN: Pitt Meadows, BC (August 15, 1975)
HEIGHT: 511" WEIGHT: 185 lbs.
HOW ACQUIRED: Signed as free agent on October 3, 2010.
DRAFTED: New Jersey 2nd round (39th overall) in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft