By Pat Hauldren
Sunday, the Dallas Stars traded Captain Brenden Morrow to Pittsburgh for defenseman Joe Morrow.
Need me to repeat that?
The trade wasn’t completely unforeseen. Last week, NHL Live talked about what will happen to some of Dallas’ upcoming unrestricted free agency players and Morrow was #1 on their list. Which made me wonder, what’s up with Morrow? Now we know.
The Stars traded Morrow a third round pick in 2013 in return for Joe Morrow and a fifth round in pick in 2013.
Who is Joe Morrow?
Selected 23rd overall, Morrow was a first round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2011. Morrow is an AHL defenseman with 15 points through 57 games, 4 goals, and 11 assists. Joe Morrow should be able to help the Stars shore up their defense, someday. Morrow was named WHL First-Team All-Star in 2011-12. He posted 64 points (17G-47A) in 62 WHL games with Portland last season. Reviewers say “if he hits his potential” Morrow will be defensive gold as a high-end defenseman with a powerful shot.
It’s true, the Stars have struggled defensively since losing Sergi Zubov. The combination of Trevor Daley, Stephane Robidas, and now Aaron Rome coming off IR, isn’t a defense to sneeze at. But it’s not been as effective as we’d like. Finding another Zubov is improbable; Joe Morrow will have to do.
Don’t expect to see Joe Morrow in the NHL soon. The Stars will most likely give him time to grow and develop in the AHL. With winger Brett Ritchie and center Radek Faksa, he becomes one of the top prospects for the future of the Stars.
What’s with Brenden Morrow leaving the Stars?
Brenden Morrow hasn’t been seen on the top lines for the Dallas Stars lately. He’s been shoring up other lines, and as always, a steady and strong player.
Morrow was a career 15.6 percent shooter and in his 13 seasons all with the Stars, he has only shot below 10.0 percent once. Brenden was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the first round (25th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He was named Rookie of the Year after joining the Dallas Stars in the 1999-2000 season.
Morrow is no wimp, he’s played plenty through injury. He played at least 70 games per season until 2006–07, when he missed 33 games after suffering severed tendons in his wrist. After that he bounced back then in the 2008-09 season, a knee injury (ACL tear) limited him to just 18 games. In the 1999-2000 playoff season, he played with a broken bone in his ankle. Last season, shoulder and back injuries caused him to miss 25 games and this season the first 18.
Morrow shot up to Captaincy just prior to the 2006-07 season, after the Stars asked Modano to step down as Captain, and he signed a long-term (6 year) contract with the team. Some wondered if his rise up the ranks was due in part to his dating Guy Carbonneau’s daughter, but no, there was no gossip to be had. Morrow genuinely earned his “C” with hard work and strong leadership in the locker room and on the ice.
At 34, Morrow has seen his peak, but he’s not dead yet. With the Penguins and the right liners, Morrow will go on to score, much like Matt Niskanen and James Neal, and brighten his career in Pittsburgh, where he’ll get more exposure and more opportunities to compete for the Cup.
It will be strange to see Brenden Morrow without the green, gold, and black, but Stars fans need to get used to change as this season. This team is rebuilding and reforming into something that, someday, will be a Stanley Cup contender.
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