Brendan Morrison’s surgically repaired right knee received its strongest test yet, as the center participated in his first scrimmage at Ducks training camp on Tuesday.
Having sat out the daily intrasquad game in the previous three days at Anaheim ICE, Morrison re-emerged on the ice with his teammates Tuesday for the first time. Wearing a white practice jersey, the 10-year veteran showed no visible effects from the injury while skating on a line with Chris Kunitz and Matt Stafanishion.
“I felt fine,” said Morrison, who signed a one-year deal with the Ducks in the offseason after spending the last eight seasons in Vancouver. “Those first couple of shifts felt pretty quick out there, but after that it settled down. There were no issues.”
Morrison has been out of game action since March 26 when he suffered a torn ACL in his right knee following a collision with former Duck Ruslan Salei at Colorado. Initially concerned with how he would adjust to the speed of the game after a long break, Morrison worked well with the pace in the scrimmage.
“I didn’t really feel like I was behind or anything like that,” Morrison said. “There is still a little bit of room for improvement in that area, but overall it was good.”
In his first look at Morrison in a game-like atmosphere, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle liked what he saw from the 33-year-old, a former Hobey Baker winner while at the University of Michigan.
“I didn’t really feel like I was behind or anything like that. There is still a little bit of room for improvement in that area, but overall it was good.” - Brendan Morrison “He shows that he is a pro,” Carlyle said. “Our expectations are that he is going to come in, give a speed element and move the puck through the neutral ice.”
A picture of health before the 2007-08 season, Morrison played in 542 consecutive games before a wrist injury sidelined him before a Dec. 12 game at Anaheim and for a total of 38 contests through March. 8. The season-ending knee injury came in just his ninth game back in the Canucks lineup.
Morrison’s ironman streak, which started on Feb. 27, 2000 while with New Jersey, is the 11th longest in NHL history. The NHL record for consecutive games played is 946, held by former Montreal Canadien Doug Jarvis. Morrison would love to get started on a new streak and Tuesday’s scrimmage may be the first step toward making that happen.
|Morrison played in a league-high 542 straight games in Vancouver before a wrist injury ended that string last year. |
“Hopefully, it’s done now,” Morrison said of the injuries. “I had a big run there where I was real healthy for a long time and played a lot of games in a row. Maybe I dodged some bullets there, I don’t know. I definitely made up for it the last couple of years. Hopefully, now I can stay healthy.”
In the first half of the scrimmage while playing on the NHL rink at Anaheim ICE, left wing T.J. Trevelyan took a hard hit on the boards from defenseman Brennan Evans and was down on the ice for several minutes. He was able to skate off the ice shortly after, but did not return to the scrimmage. “He got crunched along the boards by a big man,” Carlyle said. “Hopefully the kid comes out of it. He was a little woozy for an extended period of time.”