Skip to main content

Jon Morris

Maybe not every hockey star is destined for the National Hockey League.

Take Jon Morris, for example. The New Jersey Devils drafted Morris 86th overall back in 1984. The skinny center was a great talent. He starred in high school and then became a legend at the University of Lowell (where he also studied management). The dazzling stickhandler was an intriguing talent.

"He has a God-given hockey sense and creativeness. He has instincts that not all players have. He's showing that he can do very well in this league. I always knew he was a tremendous prospect," said Devils' GM Lou Lamoreillo.

The only problem was he wasn't quite ready to leave home.

The Devils had hoped Morris could be a playmaking center, eventually taking over from Patrik Sundstrom. They tried giving him shifts with Brendan Shanahan in particular, and later John MacLean, but it never really worked out.

Because Morris was so slight he was easy to knock off the puck. Though he was lauded for his defensive understanding of the game he remained a liability and was not often used. All of which only exacerbated his problem.

He was severely homesick.

Morris actually ended up walking out on the Devils twice, refusing to report to the minor leagues. He returned to Lowell where he finished his degree and contemplated life.

"I was a lot to put up with and they treated me top-notch," Morris said of his coaches and teammates. "I wasn't sure what I was planning to do with my life and they understood."

Morris did eventually return to the Devils and did report to the minor leagues, where he tore up the AHL offensively. He later briefly played with San Jose and his hometown Boston Bruins before extending his career with two seasons in Europe - one in Italy and one in Germany.

For a guy who never wanted to leave home, he seemed to get a pretty good tour of the hockey world on both sides of the Atlantic.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M