There was never a place for Morrison in Vancouver. The Canucks' big weakness in the bottom-six last year was lack of size and defensive ability. Was Morrison going to fill that void? Only half of it. Vigneault has long preferred a fourth-line that can crash and bang over one that can score. Problem was that last season's 4th line crashed and banged with utter disregard for whether or not the puck was going into their net. AV wanted better energy guys, not bottom-line offense. Morrison couldn't be that.
I gave in to the local hype not long after Skeeter tried to quell it, arguing that Morrison might be the ultimate depth guy. This was Morrison's argument as well. But wing depth is not something we were lacking either. Jannik Hansen and Jeff Tambellini are already going to be fighting one another to be the official utility winger. They're just as fleet of foot as Morrison, capable of offense, much more likely to throw a body-check, and already under contract. They showed they could play, and Morrison was superfluous there too.
One could argue that, if you play well enough, the team makes room for you. This is true, but Morrison didn't play well enough. He had one great game, one good game, and the others were forgettable. And yet, despite the reality (which I suspect most of us saw and ignored) that Brendan Morrison didn't deserve a contract here, the city of Vancouver was up in arms this weekend when he didn't get one. The Canucks message board exploded with doom-and-gloom posts so dumb I can't quote most of them without dulling my wit to comprehend them. If you're feeling brave, there's a lot of fun stuff in here. Even the media couldn't help but frown and bluster: "With Morrison out, looks again like Canucks have 4th line that wont score. Vigneault will love it. Then playoffs. Madden was CHI 4th line C," Iain MacIntyre tweeted dourly. Everyone was pissed. I had a slough of Vancouver fans tell me that the Canucks were stupid not to sign him, but they were speaking from their hearts, not from their heads.
Ian Walker summed it up nicely:
The 35-year-old former Canuck wasn't expected be out of work long, and I for one am glad it happened sooner than later. The dude is a class act all the way and it was hard not to feel for the guy throughout training camp. Here he was trying to extend his career while his wife was at home, schooling his three young children out of the family's rented two-bedroom townhouse. Now I know I'm going to get skewered for saying that as a lot of people wish they had Morrison's problems. But those people are missing the point. As anyone with a family can attest, you want the best for them. And when they're missing out on things because your job is up in the air, well, I'm just saying I'm sympathetic to the cause.
Despite our best efforts to pretend he did, Morrison didn't fit here. We just refused to face it because we liked him so much. B-Mo? He was that friend from back in the day who needed a place to stay. We didn't have a room for him, but we felt so bad for him we almost let him crash on the couch. Yes. Brendan Morrison was Dupree, and we narrowly lost sight of ourselves with him around.
Folks, let us finally let Brendan Morrison go. Be glad he's moved on to Calgary because, just like when an old college buddy visits from out of town, we all got a little silly with him around.