Morrow Better for Pens Than Iginla
By Greg Thornberry
Former Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow is on his way to the Burgh with a fifth round pick in 2013 in exchange for prospect Joe Morrow and a third round pick in 2013.
It was not Morrow who has been the target of Penguins trade rumors, but Calgary future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla.
Iginla played with Sidney Crosby in the Olympics and the two meshed very well, but the price to acquire him would have been far too high. A deal for Iginla would have been in the range of Beau Bennett, a 1st round pick, and then some. Too much for what the Penguins would get in return. It would be worse than the Marian Hossa situation of 2008.
Also, the current makeup of the Crosby line must be considered. Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis are having career years and Crosby is leading the league in points. No reason to shake up that chemistry at the moment.
Morrow is a great fit for the Penguins both trade wise, and on the ice. He is a hard-nosed player who will fit nicely on a line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.
While at this point Morrow does look closer to a 34 years old than 24, but will still bring grit and skill that has been needed on the second line considering the whole string of wingers to play alongside Geno this year including Eric Tangradi and Zach Boychuk.
Beau Bennett has been more productive than any of his predecessors on Malkin’s wing, but the acquisition of Morrow may throw some questions into his immediate future as his play style does not lend to being a third line winger.
The Penguins Cup winning team featured a nice mix of grit, skill, and leadership, and the Pens have been admittedly lacking in the grit department of late. Shero added that and more with the addition of Morrow and Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray.
There are those in Penguins Nation who believe that the price was too high, but the Pens have an overabundance of highly touted young defenseman, and nobody could criticize the addition of Bill Guerin, which was a similar pick up to that of Brenden Morrow.
Joe Morrow is a solid defensive prospect, but he isn’t exactly the second coming of Bobby Orr. It also appears to be part of Ray Shero’s strategy to use his abundance of defensive prospects as bargaining chips for bringing in other assets. Brenden Morrow may be a rental, but the Penguins have to live in the now with their core talent in their prime and some of whom are nearing the end of their contracts.
Also, the most speculated player from the Penguins mentioned in trade talks is budding star Simon Despres. Maybe the subtraction of Joe Morrow will add some stability to Despres life on the Penguins blue line.
Ray Shero’s squad can not be considered a clone of 2009, but it is closer today than it was on Saturday.
Until next time….
A look at Brenden Morrow
Weight: 205 lbs
Salary: 4.1 mil (final year of contract)
Position: Left Wing
Stats 2013: 20 GP, 6 G, 5 A, +/- -8