The Penguins have acquired left winger Brenden Morrow and a third-round draft pick in this year's draft from the Dallas Stars in exchange for defensive prospect Joe Morrow and a fifth-round pick in this year's draft.
Dallas' captain since the 2006-07 season, Brenden Morrow, 34, has been with the Stars since the 1999-2000 season. This season, he has appeared in 29 games and scored 11 points (six goals, five assists). Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, he has a salary cap hit of $4.1 million. Brenden Morrow, 34, was a first-round pick (No. 25 overall) in the 1997 draft held in Pittsburgh.
The Penguins' first-round pick in 2011 (No. 23 overall), Joe Morrow, 20, is in his first professional season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In 57 AHL games this season, Joe Morrow has scored 15 points (four goals, 11 assists).
The players are not related.
EN Says: This right out of the Penguins' playbook of managing assets. They have dealt a young defenseman in exchange for a veteran winger capable of playing on the top two lines. This is what they've done in the past with the likes of James Neal, Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz.
While not that large (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) Brenden Morrow is a blood-and-guts battler who will throw his body around in the high traffic areas and will fearlessly battle larger defensemen such as Zdeno Chara or Dion Phaneuf. While he is getting long in the tooth and years of throwing his body around have worn him down, he makes the Penguins a tougher team. He figures to be slated for either second- or third-line duties. Also, Morrow has never won the Stanley Cup. You have to figure he'll be energized by joining one of the favorites to win the title.
As far as how this impacts the offense, Brenden Morrow is a classic net-front presence. Most of his goals come from near the blue paint. He probably won't get much time on the first power-play unit, but the second unit is a possibility. It's also interesting to note that Brenden Morrow has the second-most game-winning goals in franchise history with 43, second only to Mike Modano with 73. In other words, Brenden Morrow's goals have some weight when he scores them.
But keep in mind, this is not Brenden Morrow in his mid-20s. This is Brenden Morrow in his mid 30s. There are a lot of hard miles on his tires. He's not the player he was in the mid 2000s.
What that means for the likes of Tyler Kennedy, Beau Bennett or Tanner Glass remains to be seen, but the Penguins are a better team in the immediate because of this move.
The Stars get a prospect at a position they are light in. The Stars do not have a ton of depth organizationally on the blue line. Joe Morrow's first professional season has had mixed reviews but he immediately increases their depth at a position they are sorely lacking in.
A few highlights of Brenden Morrow's season thus far:
(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)