Mike Morrison hopes the third time is the charm as far as his Ontario Hockey League career goes.
In fact, Morrison already considers himself lucky to have another opportunity to play after he was cut loose by the Peterborough Petes in June.
The 19-year-old goaltender feared his OHL career might be finished.
“It did cross my mind,” Morrison said Wednesday from his family home in Hamilton.
“I thought I’d end up in school.”
Then came a phone call from Darren Keily, assistant general manager of the Kingston Frontenacs.
“He told me what Kingston was doing and that (playing for the Frontenacs) would be a good move for me,” Morrison said.
“It is a good fit for me.”
It didn’t take long after Morrison was released for the Frontenacs to pursue him to be one of their overage players for the coming season.
In fact, Keily said, the Frontenacs had inquired about Morrison while he was still on Peterborough’s protected list.
“We’d gone away from that but all of a sudden he was deleted off (Peterborough’s) list,” Keily recalled.
“I called him immediately. I said ‘is this true?’ Mike said it was and he didn’t know what was going on.”
Kingston will be Morrison’s third junior team in three seasons, the first two of which he was a backup with the Kitchener Rangers.
Morrison’s career stats include 87 regular season games, a 3.46 goals-against average, three shutouts and a 33-29-3 won-lost record. He also has a 2.00 goals-against average and .946 save percentage in four playoff appearances.
Keily said in researching the goaltenders available, when it came to Morrison, the comments were consistent.
“To a man everyone said he is an outstanding young man,” Keily said.
“It was a no-brainer for us (to sign Morrison as a free agent). We didn’t use any assets either. We’re lucky to get him for nothing.”
Morrison has been told to expect to see the bulk of the goaltending time. He follows two other overage goalies, Igor Bobkov and Philipp Grubauer, who were the work horses in the Kingston net the last two seasons.
Plenty of playing minutes, of course, is what every goaltender desires.
“It’s good for me to get to Kingston. I’m excited about it,” the six-foot, 175-pound goalie said.
Morrison has ramped up his summer workout routine to prepare for playing 50-plus games this season. His previous high was 40 games last year with the Petes.
“We think he feels he has something to prove,” Keily said. “We don’t see it that way but there is some extra motivation for him.”
“I’ve gone from thinking that was it (for the OHL) to having one more chance to prove myself,” Morrison said.
“In my opinion last season was an off season for me but stats don’t always tell the whole story. This is another chance. We’ll see what it turns into. If it leads back to where it was before, so be it.”
Notebook — General manager Doug Gilmour announced Wednesday the Frontenacs have traded Adam Lloyd to the Oshawa Generals for a fifth-round pick in the 2015 OHL draft. Lloyd, 18, was acquired from the Brampton Battalion last January. He played 22 games and had one assist. … The Frontenacs are expecting up to 46 players when training camp opens on Aug. 30. Defenceman Andrew Tessier has moved to the Quebec junior league while Spencer Green, David Mazurek and Petr Beranek are forwards who will not be returning. … Kingston’s two new import players, Finnish defencemen Mikko Vainonen from Helsinki and Henri Ikonen from Savonlinna, are expected in the city on Aug. 23, one week before the team’s main camp opens.