Flames trade Morrison to Chicago


Jay Feaster has rectified one of his off-season errors tonight by dealing Brendan Morrison to the Chicago Blackhawks for defender Brian Connelly. The high scoring blueliner is 25-years old and was never drafted. Connelly managed 11 goals and 52 points in 80 games for the Rockford Icehogs last year and is second on the team in scoring this season with 36-points in 44 games.

The real news here, however, is the departure of Morrison. The 36 year old had a nice season for the Flames last year but has mostly functioned as a 13th forward when healthy this season. Although still rather crafty with the puck Morrison tends to be easily bested in puck battles and can’t get around as well thanks to his age and off-season knee surgery. His deal was a mistake the second it was inked this past summer, albeit one that was easily corrected.

In Connelly, the Flames add another mid-20’s, high scoring AHL veteran in the same mold as Clay Wilson and Derek Smith, both of whom have served the organization well at both minor and major league levels. The addition fills a need in Abbotsford with TJ Brodie likely here to stay and gives the team another chance unearthing a Smith-like gem going forward.

Overall, it’s a good move. It clears up a bit of cap space for the Flames and adds a low-cost, low risk player who can step into the pro ranks and start contributing immediately.

  • Ken V.

    We didn’t get enough for Morrison. Chicago was desperate for help at centre with Kane and Toews out. We should have sought a 2nd or 3rd round pick rather than an old, undersized AHL career defenseman.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Not to be rude, but what do think the market is for a slow, 36 year old center with a bad knee, and a grand total of 4 goals?

      Feaster made something out of (nearly) nothing. Be happy.

  • Captain Ron

    Kanes playing in the All Star Game so I don’t think he’s injured. Morrison’s trade value wasn’t that high. Probably doing him a favor sending him to a contender and thanking him for his services.

  • Captain Ron

    Never liked Morrison as a fit here. This new guy is interesting. Is he a good player in the AHL? or is he a good AHL player? Another question, why so many Americans? The front office of this CANADIAN team is crawling with them. Just solidify’s my opinion that it was wrong to re-sign Morrison.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Who cares where the players come from? The only thing that is important is the crest on the front of their jerseys, and winning – everything else is a distraction.

  • Captain Ron

    I’m not a big fan of Feaster and the whole Flames management but I finally get a sense they understand how the salary cap works.

    Unloading Morrison following the Bourque trade is a good move. This is a case of “Addition by Subtraction”. The Flames need to shed salary to create playing time for younger players, who could potentially have upside is the way to go. Getting rid of Bourque’s contract was pure luck.

    Although Cammalleri makes more money at US$6.0mn a year until 2013-14 in the short-term, he is a tradable asset if need be. Bourque’s US$3.3mn contract until 2015-16 was proving to be almost as bad as Stajan’s US$3.5mn until 2013-14.

    The question now is whether Feaster can get rid of Stajan (very, very tough), Babchuk and Bouwmeester’s contracts. Tanguay’s contract could also prove problematic as he is on the downside of his career and he has a long contract. None of these players won’t help Calgary get to the next level, so dumping them for nothing will be big birthday gift like getting rid of Langkow’s contract. Although I have to admit Langkow is very smart player and would have helped Calgary more than Stempniak this year but then again the latter is younger and cheaper. Both of their contracts are off the books at the end of this year. Much the same can by said of Anaheim taking Hagman through waiver’s. Calgary got lucky here even though they are still absorbing half of Hagman’s contract.

    Getting rid of these contracts should be viewed as a case of addition by subtraction. Lets see Feaster get rid of more bad contracts.

  • everton fc

    On the surface, the organization moved an aging vet for a young prospect with an offencive upside, though like Byron, Connelly’s lack of size may hurt any chance he may have of regular NHL minutes. All that said, how can one fault this move?

    As for the next move… if there is one… Hannan may be the one with the most worth, due to his contract. It’s what you can get back for him. Obviously, everyone wants to move Sarich ad Babchuk, particularly the latter. But I’m sure we’d have all rather read of the Hawks taking Stajan over Morrison, for Connelly.

    As for Carter… We may not have the “parts” Columbus is looking for. They are looking for a young goaltender. We have Irving. Not really legitimate “bait”. If we’d get Carter…. Which I find highly unlikely… Bressard would most likely be available. Not sure about Martinek. Pretty sure Columbus would have zero interest in Stajan. What team would?

    Bouwmeester may be of interest, but with Wisniewski’s contract… (incredibly poor signing for the Jackets for a guy who has peaked at 69 games in a season)

    If Carter’s being dangled… and we could move JBo… I’d be interested. What about a kid like David Savard coming back our way? Then with JBo… would they take Babchuk or Sarich?? Or Hannan??

    One guy I have always liked on their roster, and someone I think could fill a role on our 4th line is Derek Dorsett. If you could get that kid as a throw in… He certainly has some heart, and may crack 10 goals this season. Unfortunately, he plays RW – same side as Jackman. But still… We haven’t had a mucker like that since Prust.

    Carter would “fit” the supposed/alleged direction the clubs moving. Would anyone take a punt on Bressard??

  • Captain Ron

    Yes the Flames are getting younger, this is a good thing provided they younger also has talent.
    I’ve also noticed that they are getting much smaller, and we are lacking that big body presence. I noticed at times that they can be run out of the rink physically.
    The LA Kings man handled them a few games back and they really had no answer.

    Skill is great but we’re gonna be smaller than Montreal here going forward.

  • RexLibris

    If Carter is to come to the Flames it would probably be just him in exchange for ______ + _____ + _____. The Jackets gave up a 1st round pick that was in the top 10, as well as a highly touted prospect and a third round pick. Everything about Carter’s being moved includes mention of Columbus wanting to recoup their losses in that move.

    To that end, any trade suggestions would probably be closest in including those items.

    For instance, from the Flames, Sven Baertschi is a very fair comparison to Voracek as prospects go, next would be a first round pick, obviously not in the top ten, but were the Flames to add a sixth round pick as well it may add up. Finally, a third round pick this year or next would almost have to be included. In lieu of a sixth round pick and the third round pick a roster player with minimal cap hit and decent potential could be included, in the neighbourhood of Blake Comeau or Blair Jones.

    From a Flames standpoint that may sound like a lot, and it would be a significant package, but remember that this is similar in nature to what Columbus gave up less than a year ago and so is probably fairly close to what would be considered “market value”. And while one has to consider what makes sense for both teams, taking into account that Scott Howson has until the beginning of the 2012-2013 season to field trade offers, I would say that he has time to find the most lucrative deal he can.

    I didn’t include Columbus wanting Irving in a return because they may just sign a UFA goalie this summer or trade for one in the off-season, rather than diminish their Carter return by asking for one now. Bouwmeester might appear to be a fit in Columbus, but I also didn’t mention him as I can’t see Howson wanting to lock up that much cap space in just two defencemen (Wisniewski). If Bouwmeester were to be acquired by Columbus, it might only be in straight exchange for Wisniewski, and I’m not certain that Feaster would be interested in that deal.

    As for Stajan, I don’t think Howson has any interest. It may be that teams will wait to inquire about Stajan until after the new CBA structure has been determined or if Feaster finds himself in a weak position for a trade to try and extract a Kotalik-style payment for taking his contract.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I think it’ll be interesting to see whether Feaster has the guts to get rid Jackman and Kostopoulus. These two have bee amongst Calgary’s best forwards on a consistent basis, albeit playing fourth line energy roles. They both have expiring contracts and would offer valuable depth for teams that want depth and grit in the playoffs. The reality is we should get rid of both as these roles should be filled by younger guys like Bouma and Niemze (apologies for incorrect spelling).

    The problem is Calgary management can never seem to let go of these types of players, who are easily replaceable. Let’s see if Feaster is really different. The fact that we have PLLL and Ivanans sitting in the minors with one contracts suggest not.

  • flamesburn89

    I like the move alot. Feaster gets rid of an older veteran who’s mostly been in the press box for the majority of the season and wasn’t contributing to the team on the ice. He may have been a good locker room guy, but I don’t think that validates him staying on the roster. In return for BMo, the Flames get a much younger player in Connelly, and a guy who can play on the farm and continue his development. And as Kent said, maybe the guy turns out to be somewhat of a Derek Smith find. A no risk move by Jay Feaster, and I’ll give him a thumbs up on this one.

  • flamesburn89

    I’m not complaining where they come from. i just know that, for example the Habs have almost ZERO Francophones (2 average no names). Toronto is run by an American and coached by a wannabe (disavowed Canadian). I understand the place they are from is not important but fans need to relate. In Toronto the fans were concerned when Sundin first became captain but won the fans over. I’m not sayin, i’m just saying. Would be nice to have at least one Canadian up top?

  • Captain Ron

    Can’t imagine why it would matter where a player, coach, manager or otherwise came from or what his heritage might be.

    Talent, skill, or ability maybe.

  • Franko J

    Feaster trades again for youth and speed.
    At least with Feaster and Wiesbrod they are not ignoring their AHL affiliate and making it a competitive team as well. Finally a GM who invests in the future.

  • Franko J

    Feaster lacks confidence (see also 2nd round draft pick sent to Sabres in Reagher trade) – Here is what a Blackhawks blog had to say about Connelly

    “If Morrison doesn’t work out the Hawks only had to part with Brian Connelly. Connelly has played well in Rockford for the last couple of years. He has been an AHL All Star the last two seasons. He is the Icehogs all time points and assists leader for defensemen. The Blackhawks, as an organization, are deep at the blue line. Connelly was not our top defensive prospect; he was behind Dylan Olsen on the depth chart. The Blackhawks are still high on Shawn LaLonde and 2011 draft pick Adam Clendening, who is having a good season playing for Boston University.”

    Enough said.

  • Franko J

    RE: Kenta

    Good point about Feaster. Not too sure why he has had to trade two second round picks away. In the Regehr trade, I think he had no choice given that he got Buffalo to take Kotalik’s US3.0mn contract. However, in the Bourque trade, doesn’t seem necessarily given that Montreal wanted to dump Cammalleri right away.

    • Franko J

      Holland was unsigned & perhaps he was thrown in because negotiations for an ELC werent going well & Feaster got proactive to avoid an Erixon scenario. Now he’s Montreals problem & with Ramos, who is a good age for goalie maturity time lines & his numbers are tops in Europe, prospect for prospect, I’ll buy it. Bourque & a 2nd for Cammi. Why not. Cammi is a top 6 & Bourque was floating on our 3rd line most games with 4 more years of floating. Cammi this time next year will net us at least a 2nd rounder back, probably a late 1st rounder. I have no problem with deal. I am disappointed we gave up a 2nd instead of eating Kotaliks 3.0mill, but its not me writing the cheques. Maybe it was the owners condition of giving Jay the GM position & a lesson if he spends foolishly they wont always be there to write cheques for stupidity. Too bad they didnt take that approach with Daryl.