Brendan Morrison waits it out for another job, might end up with reality check instead

brendanmorrison1.jpgWe’ve examined the free agent possibilities out there for a few players this off-season but there’s one formerly prominent scoring center out there still without a home. Former Canucks star Brendan Morrison is still looking for an NHL job and after down years with the Stars and Capitals the last two seasons, he’s looking to pick his career up.

Like many other veterans out on the free agent market, he’s hoping to latch on somewhere but Jim Jamieson of The White Towel finds out that Morrison has some standards he wants met.

Morrison, an unrestricted free agent, is still looking for a team to land with. But he won’t accept a tryout contract. It’s got to be a guaranteed contract or he won’t go. He’s also made up him mind that he won’t play in Europe.

“We’re still talking to some teams and hopefully something comes through by Friday,” said Morrison on Tuesday. “But a lot of teams have the same message. We want to start camp and see what we’ve got here.”

Time to break this down with some harsh reality for Brendan Morrison. He’s now 35 years-old. His last good season in the NHL was 2006-2007 in Vancouver when he was fully healthy and had 20 goals and 31 assists. Since then, he’s had seasons of 25 points (in 39 games), 31 with Anaheim and  Dallas, and 42 with the Caps.

As last season wore down, Morrison did as well, scoring just 18 points from the start of 2010 through to the end of the playoffs and the Caps exit in the first round. Since his running days with Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi in Vancouver, Morrison’s production has slipped tremendously. He was brought to Washington last season to perhaps reignite his game with a high-powered Caps offense searching for a second line center. Things started well, but fizzled hard at the end.

Morrison seeking out all those demands to get a job once again in the NHL seems a bit crazy given how the market has been all off-season and how even vets in better negotiating position than what Morrrison has had to change their focus. You just have to hope that Brendan Morrison’s salary demands aren’t out of whack or else he’ll find out that the winter will be very cold off the ice.

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.