Hawks to try Morrison with Hossa, Sharp

January, 30, 2012
1/30/12
10:56
PM CT


VANCOUVER -- He may or may not be the answer as the second-line center for the Chicago Blackhawks, but newly acquired forward Brendan Morrison is going to get first crack at it.

Morrison lined up between Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp during practice Monday evening in Vancouver and summed up the idea of playing with the two stars with one word.

“Fun,” he declared after practice. “Two highly skilled players. Very talented. Great offensive instincts. Hopefully we can develop some chemistry.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville says he’s not worried about Morrison’s 36-year-old legs keeping up with Hossa and Sharp. He just wants him to be himself.

“He adds a real nice dimension in the middle,” Quenneville said. “Be it faceoffs and experience. He can make plays and see plays. Playing with Hossa and anyone else could be the makings of something special.”

One thing no one can question is Morrison’s leadership and work ethic. Everyone associated with his new team or his old one – Vancouver -- raved about his integrity as a player.

“I was a big fan of Brendan,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. “The knowledge of the game, the way he prepares was a great example for our group. He was a real piece of the foundation of this organization for a long time.”

Morrison’s new captain echoed the same.

“He’s always been known as a hard-working player,” Jonathan Toews said. “One of those character guys on the ice. For a guy that plays both ways in the middle, it’s going to be a huge help for our team.”

The new lines

With the addition of Morrison on the second line, Quenneville elected to move Marcus Kruger to wing and play him with Dave Bolland and Andrew Shaw. Jamal Mayers remained at center with Bryan Bickell and Andrew Brunette on the fourth line.

Quenneville likes Kruger’s defense and this places him in a more prominent role playing beside Bolland. If Morrison doesn’t work out with Hossa and Sharp, then expect Kruger to return to that position.

Quotable

  • “I think guys that tell you they don’t think about it are lying to you.” -- Morrison, on playing his career without winning a Stanley Cup.

  • “I kind of went into hiding. Put a Balaclava [ski mask] on.”-- Vancouver area native Morrison, on being traded to the Hawks.

  • “I don’t know how much more help he needs. He’s third in scoring in the league.” – Morrison, on what he can do to help Marian Hossa.

  • “It was almost like a wedding reception. I just stood in line as the team filed in the door.” -- Morrison, on meeting his new teammates on Monday.

  • “Was the highlight of the night. Hopefully Kaner saves the day tomorrow and swoops in for the rescue.” -- Toews on Patrick Kane's Superman costume from the skills challenge at All-Star weekend.

  • “I’m not calling him Super Kane.” -- Sharp

  • “Sometimes they are tougher than others. Whether it’s the economics of it sometimes you make business decisions.”--Quenneville on sending Jimmy Hayes to the minors.
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    TEAM LEADERS

    POINTS
    Patrick Kane
    PTS GOALS AST +/-
    16 7 9 -2
    OTHER LEADERS
    GoalsP. Kane 7
    AssistsP. Kane 9
    +/-K. Versteeg 6
    GAAC. Crawford 1.97