Shaone Morrisonn – Should be playing in the NHL

Shaone Morrisonn was signed to a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres for the 2011-12 season after spending several years with the Washington Capitals.  Unfortunately, Morrisonn spent the 2011-12 season playing for the Buffalo Sabres AHL affiliate Rochester Americans.  At the end of training camp the Sabres put Morrisonn on waivers with the explanation that he was being sent down for salary cap reasons. The Sabres were right up against the salary cap and the team could use the space to bring in a lower cost stay-at-home defenseman.  However, when you look a little deeper at the Morrisonn’s True Value there seems to be a disconnect.

Shaone Morrisonn
GP G A Pts TOI Cap Hit ($M) True Value ($M)
2008 76 1 9 10 20.3 0.90 1.74
2009 72 3 10 13 18.0 1.98 1.95
2010 68 1 11 12 17.6 1.98 1.86
2011 62 1 4 5 16.2 2.08 1.33
2012 AHL 2.08

Shaone Morrisonn’s numbers are remarkably consistent (especially when adjusting for injuries). He is essentially about a $2M per year player, and that is without factoring in his playoff experience with the Capitals.  Given his predictable output and value, one wonders if there is more to the story than the salary cap excuse for sending Morrisonn to the minors. On July 1 Morrisonn is once again a UFA, hopefully another team will recognize his past contributions and give him another shot in the NHL as a reliable, tough, stay-at-home defenseman.