Lew Morrison, a Flyers right winger in the early years of franchise history, passed away on July 15, 2023. He was 75 years old. Drafted by the Flyers with the 8th overall pick in the first round of the 1968 NHL Amateur Draft, Morrison spent the first three seasons of his 564-game NHL career with the Flyers.
Born on Feb. 11, 1948, in Gainsborough, Saskatchewan, Morrison played his junior hockey for the Flin Flon Bombers; the same team that would soon graduate the likes of Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach to the NHL.
While working his way up to the NHL, Morrison was a member of the Quebec Aces team that went to AHL’s Calder Cup Finals in 1969. The next season, Morrison and Clarke would break into the NHL together as rookies with the Flyers. Morrison was a hard-working player who had above-average size and skating ability for his era.
“Lew was a great guy and gave his all. Our team wasn’t ready to win yet while he was here, but he understood his role and was a team-first player. Our coach, Vic Stasiuk, came to trust him, and there weren’t too many rookies, outside of Clarkie, that you could say that about in those years,” recalled Flyers Hall of Fame defenseman Joe Watson.
“Funny story. We had a game in Detroit during Lew’s rookie year. He didn’t score a lot of goals, but he got one here. Clarkie shot the puck. it went off Lew’s backside and past Roger Crozier. A banker off the shaker, right into the net!”
Morrison played three seasons under Stasiuk (one for the Aces in the AHL and two in the NHL with the Flyers). He remained with the Flyers through the legendary Fred Shero’s first season behind the bench. The winger won Philadelphia’s “Unsung Hero” award for the 1971-72 season.
Shortly thereafter, the Flyers lost Morrison to the Atlanta Flames in the NHL Expansion Draft. After leaving Philadelphia, Morrison went on to play for the Flames, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. Over the course of his 563-game NHL career, he tallied 39 goals, 52 assists and 91 points while playing mostly as a checking forward. For the Flyers portion of his career, Morrison tallied 19 goals, 21 assists, and 41 points in 202 games. He dressed in all four games of the Flyers’ first-round playoff loss to the St. Louis Blues in 1969.
Lew was the older brother of former minor league players Johnny Morrison and Don Morrison. All three brothers were Flin Flon Bombers alumni. In 2017, Lew Morrison was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.