Watch Milwaukee OF Nyjer Morgan practice with the San Jose Sharks


Tony Plush on ice?

Yep, that happened.

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan — also known by his alter ego, Tony Plush — practiced with the San Jose Sharks today for about a half-hour, culminating with a shootout contest against backup goalie Thomas Greiss.

Morgan missed on his first three attempts before burying the fourth…though that may have come with some assistance from a flopping Greiss.

“How many athletes do you know who can just jump on the ice and do what I just did? Exactly,” Morgan said. “Pretty cool, huh?

“It’s been many moons, it’s been a lot of years, yeah. And I’ve still got it, you see that?”

The ‘many moons’ remark was in reference to Morgan’s hockey days — the Bay Area native grew up playing hockey, making it all the way to Regina of the WHL (where he played on a team that featured current Blues defenseman Barret Jackman.)

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan — who was coaching in Swift Current when Morgan played for Regina — remembers the Brewers outfielder well.

“His ball characteristics, and the way he stirs things up on the ballfield, that’s the exact same way he was on the ice surface,” McLellan explained. “He was a bit of a disturber, got under the skin of some of the other players, and competed hard.”

Joe Thornton seemed pretty impressed by Morgan and more than amused by “Plush.”

“Not bad. It was better than I thought,” Thornton said. “It seems like he enjoyed coming here and we loved having him. … It loosens everybody up. He’s got a good personality and he relates to the guys.”

Check out video of Morgan and his alter-ego’s appearance, via

Update: Here’s some video of Morgan during his Regina Pats days, including a cameo from Jackman at the 1:05 mark.


Brewers’ hero Nyjer Morgan has hockey ties?

There’s plenty going on around the hockey world. Last night, the defending Stanley Cup champs returned to the ice and the Canucks and Penguins faced-off in a potential Stanley Cup finals preview. Today the NHL featured games in Sweden and Finland; Jeff Carter started a new chapter of his career in Columbus and Paul MacLean started his new gig behind the bench for Ottawa. But the hockey world wasn’t isolated to the ice tonight—as tentacles of the hockey world stretched all the way to Milwaukee and the National League Divisional Series.

Tonight Nyjer Morgan etched his name in Milwaukee sports lore as his 10th inning RBI vaulted the Brewers to their first series win in almost three decades. But how close was Morgan to delivering open ice hits instead of game-winning base hits? A lot closer than you may think.

Before anyone knew the name T-Plush, Morgan was a speedy forward from Northern California for the BCHL’s Saint George Spruce Kings. He eventually ended up playing seven games for the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League and even played on the same team as Derek Boogaard. Despite scoring a pair of goals in his first game with the Pats, he was eventually released and ended up back in baseball (where he’d eventually catch the eye of baseball scouts).

Morgan told that he’s the same type of baseball player as he was on the hockey rink:

“I’ve always been that type of person. A high-energy person. When I step between the lines, I play hard for whomever I’m playing for. Just like that little pest on the ice, going around and giving people the business, like Sean Avery. Just going around and being that little pest but still being able to play your game and get a ‘W’ for your boys.”

Some things never change. The guy is still a little pest and after tonight, it’s apparent that he’s still trying to get the “W” for his boys. Now the Brewers head to the NLCS against the surprising St. Louis Cardinals while the NHL season gets underway all over North America. As soon as the Brewers’ season ends, you can be sure that Morgan will be right back to following the sport that he chased all the way to British Columbia back in his teen years:

“Everybody was busting my chops because I started dropping ‘eh’s’ on people. After that, I missed the game but I still follow it and still see a couple of the guys I played with or against. Now I’m just a die-hard hockey fan.”

Anyone that saw his celebration and excitement after his game-winning hit can tell he made the right choice. After all, Regina, Saskatchewan may have been the closest he ever got to the NHL. Obviously the man is thriving with his career choice.

But here’s the real question: if the Brewers make it to the promise land and win it all, will he be disappointed that he doesn’t get to lift the Stanley Cup?