October 28, 1949 |
Sydney, NS, CAN
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)|
|Played for||Indianapolis Racers
New York Golden Blades
New Jersey Knights
San Diego Mariners
Kevin Gregory Joseph Morrison (born October 28, 1949) is a retired professional ice hockey player who played 418 games in the World Hockey Association and 41 games in the National Hockey League. He scored a combined total of 97 goals and added 235 assists. On Oct.20,1978 he recorded the only assist on Wayne Gretzky's first professional goal, a backhander past Edmonton Oilers goalie Dave Dryden (brother of hall of famer Ken Dryden) while both were members of the WHA's Indianapolis Racers. Morrison excelled as a scoring defenseman racking up 3 consecutive 20 goal seasons (24,20,22) with the San Diego Mariners during the mid seventies. He was also selected to the WHA All-Star game during that period where he played alongside legends Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe. However, notwithstanding his offensive skills, he was predominantly known as an enforcer and is remembered for some of the greatest fights in hockey history. On Feb.28,1973, while playing for the AHL's New Haven Nighthawks he tangled with Rochester's "Battleship" Bob Kelly in, what has been called, one of the greatest professional hockey fights in history. Rochester coach Don Cherry( who would go on to coach Morrison in Colorado) listed this as one of the best fights he had ever seen. He remembers this bout as one where both men fought furiously until they were completely exhausted. After a brief respite the two continued fighting until they could no longer throw punches. Although Cherry gave the slight edge to Kelly, Morrison contends, to this day, that he won the fight.
Another classic match came against legendary tough guy Steve Durbano (deceased) in a WHA game between Morrison's Indianapolis Racers and The Birmingham Bulls. If you've ever seen footage of old WHA fights on YouTube you may have seen this one. Durbano kept coming after Morrison even though Morrison had been assessed a penalty and was standing in the penalty box. Finally breaking free from the linesman Durbano took several wild swings (all missing Morrison) until Morrison,himself, broke free from a linesman and smoked Durbano with one of the cleanest right hands you'll ever see, sending Durbano crumpling to the ice. Fight over.
Morrison retired in 1986 and still lives in his home town of Sydney, Nova Scotia.
He also played for The New Haven Nighthawks, Philadelphia Firebirds, Rochester Americans and Tidewater Wings in the AHL.
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