Could Brendan Morrison Be Toronto's Answer?
With so many questions of Kadri's play as well as nobody else stepping up to take the third line centre job it's about time the Leafs look elsewhere to fill the whole.
It has already been suggested in different places that the Leafs could use their glut of NHL calibre defencemen to trade for help down the middle. There is however one avenue that hasn't really been looked at as a possibility.
That is the NHL free agent market.
There are many good players still on the free agent market who could be picked up at a reasonable price and still do more than adequate job on the third line.
Let us say for instance Brendan Morrison.
With a very young and inexperienced roster, Morrison could bring to the Leafs a veteran presence up front which they are in sore need of.
Morrison has found himself without a contract and in the midst of being a tryout player with a former team of his the Vancouver Canucks. Even more so than Wayne Primeau, who is on a tryout basis himself with the Maple Leafs, Morrison finds himself a victim of the new collective bargaining agreement .
Morrison had a respectable season last year with the Washington Capitals posting 42pts. in 74 games, on a team loaded heavily with scoring talent. Even despite those decent numbers he finds himself without a contract heading into the last week of training camps.
To date in exhibition play Morrison has impressed showing an especially strong performance Saturday night, recording an assist that night in the Canucks 4-1 victory. Morrison has recorded a +/- rating of -2 while seeing a lot of penalty killing time with in three exhibition games receiving around twenty minutes a game per night.
The former number one centre of Vancouver has shown that he's adept at killing penalties and being able to play in a checking role.
He showed last year his versatility by being able to play on any line at any given time for Coach Boudreau of Washington.
As reported by Monte Stewart, Coach Alain Vignault said that Morrison "has a real good chance" of making the team. Morrison could still be offered a contract by any team at this point and time.
Even though his chances are looking really good with making Vancouver's squad he would still probably only end up making the team as their fourth line centre. If the Leafs tendered him an offer he would most certainly be given third line duty with possible increase ice time given his ability to make good plays on the power play.
His veteran presence would greatly help up front, and he could be very useful should Toronto need to fill a whole in their top six for a quick spot job.
It warrants consideration to see if someone who was so instrumental in aiding the Sedin twins in developing into the players they are now in Vancouver. Could possibly do the same to two other big acquisitions by Burke in Kessel and Versteeg in Toronto.
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