Over the years we’ve seen the likes of Mike Modano, Derian Hatcher, and Neal Broten pack their bags for new destinations – and now another warrior who for years has pumped blood through the very veins of the Dallas Stars organization is saying goodbye.

Brenden Morrow is on his way to Pittsburgh along with a 3rd round draft pick, for 20 year old defense prospect Joe Morrow and a 5th round pick.

Morrow (Brenden that is) made his NHL debut with the Stars in November of 1999.  A call-up from Michigan of the AHL, his youthful ignition and instant grasp of the Stars’s style of game made it impossible not to keep him around. He stuck with the big club and played a role in the Stars’ return to the final in his first taste of playoff action in spring of 2000. He even earned himself top-line minutes at times that season – quite an accomplishment for a rookie on a veteran laden roster fresh off a Stanley Cup victory.

Plenty of big goals and plenty of big hits since, Morrow has been an absolute warrior for the Stars over the years. His most memorable moments coming in that 2008 playoff run – where he went beast mode on both the Ducks and Sharks to lead the Stars to the conference finals. He has sacrificed his body for nearly a decade and a half for this franchise and has earned every single stitch that has held that letter “C”  on the front of his jersey since 2006.

But with his contract set to expire this summer and management making it obvious that the old guard has seen it’s day, Morrow being moved to a contender was inevitable. And with what he can still bring to a team looking at a deep playoff run; physicality, versatility, and still a decent a scoring touch, it made him the perfect trade candidate.

Milan Michalek may not remember the damage Morrow inflicted that spring of 2008, but the Pittsburgh Penguins must. They know darn well what they’re getting.

Drafted 25th overall in 1997, he leaves the Stars with the following credentials on the franchise’s all-time list:

7th in goals – 243 (tied with Jere Lehtinen)

4th in PIMs – 1,203

8th in points – 528

5th in games played – 835

 

The Return

Who is Joe Morrow?

Drafted 23rd by the Penguins in 2010, Joe Morrow’s maturity and all-round ability nearly had him on the Penguins roster out of his first training camp in 2011. He played his junior career with Portland of the WHL where he became a force on the Winterhawks’ blueline – scoring 17 goals and 64 points over 62 games in his final year. He’s played this season on the Penguin’s farm club in Wilkies-Barre, scoring 4 goals and 15 points in 57 games.

He’s a rugged, mobile player who can do it all and should be a centerpiece on the Stars’ defense core in the future. Not to mention he’s an Alberta boy, and you can’t go wrong with that.

As sad as it is to see him go, this is the exact type of move the Stars needed to make. Here’s hoping there’s more to come between now and the April 3 deadline.

 

Thanks for reading. Comments more than welcome. Find me on Twitter at travcurrie

   
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