In 1997-98, Morrison began his professional career, playing mostly for the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League. He finished the season with 84 points – ninth overall in league scoring and second among rookies. He was edged out by Daniel Brière, who recorded 92 points, for Rookie of the Year honours, but was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team. That same season, he made his NHL debut with the Devils. He was called up and played in his first NHL game on December 4, 1997, – a 4-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins – and scored his first NHL goal against Tom Barasso. He finished the season with 9 points in 11 games. The following year, he landed a full-time spot on the Devils' roster and came fifth in Calder Memorial Trophy voting, with one first-place vote. Morrison played in New Jersey until March 14, 2000, when he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks along with Denis Pederson in exchange for Alexander Mogilny.
In Vancouver, Morrison established himself as the team's first line centre, joining Todd Bertuzzi and Markus Näslund to complete what was arguably the league's most feared line combination. During their prime the three players were featured on the covers of magazines such as Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News. Gretzky compared the 'West Coast Express' to the line of Mark Messier, Jari Kurri and himself, that dominated the NHL during 1980s while playing for the Edmonton Oilers. As a result, Morrison's most productive seasons occurred in 2001-02 and the 2002-03, when he scored 67 and 71 points respectively. Morrison's linemates, Bertuzzi and Näslund both finished among the league's top five scoring in the same two seasons.
The following season, Morrison finished the regular season with 60 points as the Canucks entered the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs as the third seed. Perhaps Morrison's greatest play as a Canuck occurred in the sixth game of the opening round against the Calgary Flames. A little less than three minutes into the third overtime period, Morrison emerged from the corner boards, skated the puck around Calgary goalie Miika Kiprusoff, and scored to stave off elimination. However, despite Morrison's game six heroics, the Canucks were defeated in overtime in game seven.
In lieu of the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Morrison represented Linköpings HC of the Swedish Elitserien. He competed against Näslund, as well as other teammates Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who played for MODO. Before NHL play resumed the next season, Morrison re-signed with the Canucks at $9.6 million over three more seasons.
Going into the 2007-08 season, Morrison had played five consecutive seasons without missing a game. After Colorado defenceman Karlis Skrastins was forced to miss a game with a knee injury on February 25, 2007, Morrison became the NHL's reigning ironman. Skrastins streak ended at 495 games, while Morrison, at the time, had played in his 492nd. On December 12, 2007, the ironman streak was snapped at 542 games when he decided not to play a game due to wrist complications. The streak, which had begun on February 27, 2000, with the Devils, was the eleventh longest in NHL history. He was succeeded by Calgary's Cory Sarich, who was at 419 consecutive games when Morrison went down. Out of Morrison's overall ironman streak, 534 were played as a Canuck, which is currently the franchise record for consective games played. After first succumbing to the streak-ending wrist injury, Morrison was re-injured, tearing his ACL. After finishing the season with 25 points in 39 games, he underwent surgery on April 7, 2008, after the season had ended.
As he became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, it is reported Morrison signed with the Anaheim Ducks on July 7. Signing with Anaheim, he was reunited with former Canucks' general mangers Brian Burke, who is Anaheim's present GM, and Dave Nonis, who is presently Burke's senior advisor. Morrison left the Canucks ninth overall in all-time franchise scoring with 394 points in 543 games.
|1990-91||Ridge Meadows Knights||BCAHA||77||126||127||253||88||--||--||--||--||--|
|1991-92||Ridge Meadows Lightning||BCAHA||55||56||111||167||56||--||--||--||--||--|
|1997-98||New Jersey Devils||NHL||11||5||4||9||0||3||0||1||1||0|
|1997-98||Albany River Rats||AHL||72||35||49||84||44||8||3||4||7||19|
|1998-99||New Jersey Devils||NHL||76||13||33||46||18||7||0||2||2||0|
|1999-00||SK Horacka Slavia Trebic||Czech-2||2||0||0||0||0||--||--||--||--||--|
|1999-00||New Jersey Devils||NHL||44||5||21||26||8||--||--||--||--||--|
Morrison has competed for Team Canada in three World Championships. The first of which, in 2000, he recorded 1 goal and 3 assists as Canada finished fourth, losing the bronze medal game to Finland. Four years later, Morrison was joined by Canucks' teammate Matt Cooke, as Canada captured gold at the 2004 World Championships in the Czech Republic. Morrison contributed 1 goal and 6 assists in 9 games.
The next year, Morrison played in the 2005 World Championships, in which all NHL players were eligible to participate. On account of the 2004-05 NHL lockout, the playoffs did not interfere with the World Championships, as it otherwise would. Reaching the gold medal game for the second consecutive year, Canada was, however, shutout by the Czech Republic. Morrison contributed 4 goals in 9 games.
Shortly thereafter, on August 14, 2005, Morrison was invited to Team Canada's Olympic Orientation Camp, a selection process for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. He was a late addition, replacing Mario Lemieux, who had pulled out at the last minute. However, Morrison did not make the final roster.