WASHINGTON – Once an NHL iron man, Brendan Morrison has been left at the curb by three teams in less than 15 months because of injuries.
The Washington Capitals believe he’s healthy and ready to be productive again, enough to give a one-year, US$1.5-million deal to take the role of second-line centre.
The Capitals signed Morrison on Friday, filling the void left when Sergei Fedorov left to play in Russia at the end of the season.
“If I can get my game back in order and play the way I’m capable of playing, then that’s the role I want,” Morrison said, “and the role I expect myself to fill.”
Morrison, who turns 34 next month, has played 12 seasons with Dallas, Anaheim, Vancouver and New Jersey. He has 175 goals and 330 assists in 755 career games, with career highs in goals (25) and assists (46) in 2002-03 with the Canucks.
He played in 542 consecutive games from 2000-07, but he has since had four surgeries – wrist, hip, sports hernia and torn right ACL.
He was limited to 39 games with the Canucks during the 2007-08 season, moved on to the Ducks for 2008-09 but was waived in March and claimed the next day by the Stars.
He finished the season with 16 goals and 15 assists in 81 games between the two teams.
Morrison said he “could barely get up and down the ice” for much of the season.
“I thought I felt good and I thought I was healthy, but my legs didn’t start coming around until probably the three-quarter mark,” he said.
He said he’s now back at full strength for summer conditioning.
“He has a clean bill of health,” general manager George McPhee said, “and is committed to coming to camp in great shape. We think he could really flourish here.”