There were no new defensemen in practice, so the Reign roster had find another way to fluctuate Tuesday.
Jordan Morrison, who led the Reign in scoring last season, informed coach Jason Christie yesterday that he was leaving for the Erste Bank Eishockeyliga (First Bank Ice Hockey League), the top league in Austria. That’s about all we know right now; I spoke to Morrison briefly and he’s still got a few loose ends to tie up here. Check out tomorrow’s editions of the Sun and Daily Bulletin for more.
Morrison had no points and a minus-3 rating in three games this season.
He never seemed totally comfortable in Christie’s system and was squeezed out of
the center rotation (his natural position) by C.J. Stretch, Francois
Brisebois, Bill Bagron and newcomer Matt Tassone. Last season, Morrison rode a strong second half to finish with 20 goals and 55 points in 71 games.
The 25-year-old becomes the second player to head overseas since the season began. Defenseman Travis Gawryletz was the first.
Justin Taylor, who played 41 games for the Reign last season, also plays in the Austrian league for Ljubljana Olimpija HK.
A few more notes from practice:
- Actually, there was a new defenseman. Sort of. Pat Bowen skated for an
hour, up from the 25 minutes he was on the ice Monday. Bowen has been
sidelined since Oct. 9 with a lower-body injury, so his was basically a new face. He hasn’t been cleared for contact and has “no idea” whether he’ll be available for Friday and Saturday’s games against Stockton and Colorado, respectively.
- Defenseman Eddie DelGrosso, who was claimed off waivers, still hasn’t reported to Ontario. “He’s got an injury, or he’s claiming he has an injury, from Vegas,” Christie said. “Whenever he feels like he can come out, he can come out.” In the meantime, DelGrosso remains suspended by the team.
- Four goalies remain on the roster. Tuesday’s practice — a long one — was the most work Jase Weslosky and Dustin Carlson have gotten since last Thursday. Christie said he’s still trying to find trading partners for both goalies but the demand is low right now.
- Defenseman Phillippe Seydoux still doesn’t have his P-1 visa and said he might have to drive to Vancouver to get it.
- Here’s how they skated in practice:
Geoff Irwin-C.J. Stretch-Derek Couture
Matt Tassone-Francois Brisebois-Brady Calla
J.D. Watt-Bill Bagron-Chris Cloud/Shayne Neigum
Dylan Yeo-Mike Montgomery
Steven Tarasuk-J.P. Cote
Philippe Seydoux-Vincent LoVerde