Morrison chooses Ducks
Free agent centre Brendan Morrison is off the free agent list, as the B.C. native is set to join the Anaheim Ducks. Terms of the impending contract are not known, but it is expected to be a one- or two-year deal.
Morrison is still rehabbing after undergoing knee surgery on April 7 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. It is Morrison's fourth surgery in the past two years.
With $7.3-million committed in goal, $22.2-million on the blueline and $25.6-million up front (pre-Morrison), the obvious spot for a bit of trimming is on defence, and we've heard the Mathieu Schneider trade rumours for a while now. A move to Ottawa makes sense, although the Ducks aren't in a position to take much salary back.
Freeing up Schneider's $5.625-million deal would allow both Morrison and Teemu Selanne's contracts to fit, albeit narrowly, under the cap, but it's more likely that Selanne's headed for retirement and another blueliner will fit into the top six.
Anaheim's biggest issue at the moment is that it has very little cheap, young talent able to play a major role. Minus Selanne, who does Morrison play with on the second line? How does the team improve without Schneider on the blueline? And how big of a role can Bobby Ryan fill after a solid turn in the AHL playoffs?
The Ducks were the third lowest-scoring team in the league last season, ahead of just Columbus and the Islanders, and potentially lose the offensive contributions of Todd Bertuzzi, Schneider, Doug Weight and Selanne.
They're in for a tough year.