Word came out this morning that Brendan Morrison has been released from his professional tryout contract with the Vancouver Canucks.
I think Morrison did well this preseason to prove that he can still play at the NHL level. In fact, he played well enough to garner interest from other teams around the league.
It would’ve been nice for Morrison to return and play for the Canucks for at least one more season. Especially in a year when the Canucks are considered legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, it would’ve been cool to see him don the blue and green.
But sentiment is one thing and putting together the right mix to win a Stanley Cup is another.
This isn’t to say that Morrison wouldn’t have helped them. I think he brings some key elements to the table – i.e. speed, versatility, two-way game – but the Canucks obviously wanted to go with a different mix. The Canucks wanted a bit more grit and toughness from the fourth line, and perhaps, Mike Gillis and Alain Vigneault both feel that guys like Alex Bolduc and Guillaume Desbiens fill those roles better.
The business side of things have a say too. Remember that the Canucks are tight against the cap and limited in terms of how much they can offer him on a contract. Know that other teams can – and are willing to – offer him more money. Sure he could’ve signed with the Canucks but he would’ve left a lot of money on the table, and at 35 years old and the downswing of his career, I don’t (won’t) blame him if he decides to take the bigger offer.
Add it all up and you just knew that signing him was a difficult proposition.
We’ll see if both sides made the right decision.