After moving from forward to the blue line in his early days as a professional, Jim Morrison was consistently one of the top defensemen in the AHL during a playing career that spanned 22 seasons.
A native of Montreal, Morrison debuted professionally in 1951-52, seeing AHL time with the Hershey Bears and Pittsburgh Hornets and NHL action in Boston and Toronto. Morrison would spend the next eight years exclusively in the NHL, but returned to the AHL with the Quebec Aces in 1960 and became a standout presence on the blue line at a time when it was still rare for a defenseman to contribute offensively.
Morrison was named an AHL postseason all-star six years in a row and seven times in eight seasons between 1961-62 and 1968-69, including six Second Team berths and a First Team nod in 1966 when he was also presented the Eddie Shore Award as the outstanding defenseman in the league. Morrison matched a career best with 11 goals that season and set personal bests with 48 assists and 59 points.
After helping the Aces to the Calder Cup Finals in 1968 – putting up 16 points in 15 postseason games – Morrison was traded to Baltimore and skated for the Clippers in 1968-69 before getting a chance to the NHL, spending two seasons with the fledgling Pittsburgh Penguins. Morrison returned to Baltimore in 1971 and was again named a Second Team AHL All-Star as the Clippers reached the Finals in 1972.
Off the ice, Morrison was a champion of improved conditions for players, and was elected the first president of the AHL players’ association upon its formation in 1967. Morrison retired after the 1972-73 season at the age of 41, having played more than 700 games in both the AHL (721) and the NHL (704). He tallied 426 points and earned a record eight postseason all-star selections over his 12 AHL seasons.