ANAHEIM, Calif. – Brendan Morrison had more lucrative offers elsewhere but the chance to win in Anaheim with former Vancouver GM Brian Burke was too good to pass up.
So the 32-year-old centre, an unrestricted free agent, signed a US$2.75-million, one-year contract with the Ducks on Tuesday.
“They were a team that, over the course of the season, that I had thought about,” Morrison told reporters on a conference call. “They were high on the list if things didn’t go work out in Vancouver …
“There were other offers out there that I turned down that were more lucrative.”
Less than a week after Canucks captain Markus Naslund left for the New York Rangers, Morrison leaves Vancouver after parts of eight seasons.
“A lot of things stick out in my mind from my time in Vancouver. A lot of positives,” said Morrison. “The one negative was that we didn’t ever get the chance to play for the Cup. We had tremendous teams but never accomplished that. That was the most disappointing thing.
“But the positives – I got to play for a tremendous organization, a very, very passionate city, knowledgeable fans, everybody treated me with the upmost respect. I have nothing but good things to say about the city of Vancouver. Obviously it’s my hometown and it’s difficult to move on but sometimes you have to do these things in this profession.”
Morrison had 25 points (9-16) in 39 games with the Canucks last season, a year cut short by injuries.
“I have lot to prove to people,” said Morrison. “My injuries and that, some people don’t know whether I can still play at a high level. I want to come back and prove that I can. …
“I elected to take this one-year deal, come back and prove what kind of player I still can be. And going to a team that I feel has a chance to win. At this stage of my career I want to win and I think this is a good fit.”
The Canucks were among the teams also interested in Morrison.
“They came back with a one-year offer that obviously we didn’t accept,” said Morrison. “It was unfortunate it didn’t work out in Vancouver but I’m excited about going to Anaheim.”
In Anaheim, Morrison has been pencilled in the as the No. 2 centre behind star Ryan Getzlaf. Morrison is hoping one familiar Duck returns for another year.
“Hopefully Teemu (Selanne) comes back – that would be a huge thrill to play with him,” said Morrison.