After Pascal Vincent left the Manitoba Moose for the Columbus Blue Jackets the team, and their NHL affiliate the Winnipeg Jets, were on the lookout for a replacement. They’ve found it in Mark Morrison, who will become the next head coach of the Moose after several seasons with the Anaheim Ducks.
Morrison is a familiar face, having served as an assistant with the Jets affiliate when it was in St. John’s and then in Manitoba for two years. His last head coaching job was for the Victoria Salmon Kings, which at the time was the organization’s ECHL affiliate. Though he has spent the last four years as an assistant with the Ducks, there are long ties to Canada for Morrison, who twice represented the country at the World Juniors as a player and suited up many other times for his country internationally.
His time in the NHL spanned all of ten games, but Morrison had a long, successful playing career that included more than a decade with the Fife Flyers, serving as a player-coach up until his retirement in 2005. He’s now back with the Jets, where he’ll be tasked with developing the next wave of talent in the AHL.
Winnipeg had some outstanding young players at the AHL level this season, headlined by top prospect Cole Perfetti. The 19-year-old forward, selected 10th overall in 2020, put up 26 points in 32 games at the minor league level despite being too young to normally even qualify. With the OHL not playing, Perfetti took his opportunity to play with the Moose and ran with it. Unfortunately, unless the league issues exemptions, Perfetti won’t have that same opportunity in 2021-22. Still too young, he’ll either have to make the NHL squad or return to the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL at the start of the season.
The Moose went 18-13-5 this season, meaning there is lots of room for improvement by Morrison. The team will start off the 2021-22 season on October 15.