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Stars claim Morrison from Ducks

by John Kreiser
The Dallas Stars moved to fill a hole in the middle on Wednesday by claiming center Brendan Morrison on waivers from the Anaheim Ducks.

The Stars have struggled offensively since No. 2 center Brad Richards went down with a broken wrist on Feb. 16. He's expected to miss at least another month, and the Ducks hope Morrison can make up some of the missing production.

Morrison, 33, spent eight seasons with Vancouver before signing a one-year deal with Anaheim last summer as a free agent. His tenure with the Ducks didn't go as well as they had hoped: In 62 games for Anaheim this season, he scored just 10 goals and added 12 assists for 22 points with 16 penalty minutes. He was placed on waivers by Anaheim on Tuesday, but played in the Ducks' 3-2 overtime loss at Chicago.

Morrison is just four points shy of 500 for his NHL career, and has earned 14 of his 22 points on the season in the last 28 games.

"Brendan Morrison is a skilled veteran who brings valuable experience and character to our team for this playoff push," Stars Co-General Manager Les Jackson said. "He is a strong competitor who we are excited to add to our group."

Morrison is in his 11th NHL season and has 169 goals and 327 assists for 496 points in 736 career games. He has four 20-goal seasons and has had 60 or more points three times.

Morrison will find a couple of friendly faces in Dallas. He was a teammate of Stars goalie Marty Turco at the University of Michigan, and is the brother-in-law of Stars color analyst Daryl Reaugh.

He should also get a chance to face his old team very quickly. The Stars, who won 4-1 at San Jose on Tuesday, visit Los Angeles on Thursday and Anaheim on Friday.

Morrison's departure was part of a busy Deadline Day for the Ducks, who moved defenseman Steve Montador to Boston for forward Petteri Nokelainen, sent center Samuel Pahlsson to Chicago for defenseman James Wisniewski, dealt forward Travis Moen and defenseman Kent Huskins to San Jose for two prospects and a draft pick, and landed forward Eric Christensen from Atlanta for 2008 second-rounder Eric O'Dell.
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