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Morrow for Morrow-Dallas Stars trade the past for the future

Brenden Morrow #10 of the Dallas Stars heads back to the bench after his gola against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on March 7, 2013 in Los Angeles, California
Harry How/Getty Images

Sunday, the Dallas Stars announced the trade of forward Brenden Morrow to Pittsburgh for the Penguins’ AHL defenseman Joe Morrow.

Morrow for Morrow.

Confused yet?

In addition, the Stars get a third round pick in 2013 in return for a fifth round in pick in 2013.

All that draft pick stuff can really get confusing, so let’s concentrate on our outgoing Star-to-Penguin Brenden Morrow.

Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk made a savvy business decision by trading Brenden Morrow, a veteran of 14 years all with the Stars, for a future star defenseman currently in the AHL, Joe Morrow.

Brenden Morrow played with the Stars from the 1999-2000 season, where he made Rookie of the Year, a fun and exciting season for the Stars and fans with the Stanley Cup Playoffs and hoisting the Cup at the end of the season. He’s won gold in the Olympics with the Canadian team at the Vancouver Olympics in the 2010- 11 season where he also had a career-high 33 goals.

He’s one of the NHL’s elite power forwards, gaining his captaincy after the Stars asked Mike Modano to step down as Captain. Modano had been the face of the Stars since their inception and to this day, Modano remains in various capacities as a “promotional face” of the Stars. To reward Morrow for his commitment, he bypassed free agency to sign a long-term (6 year) contract with the team. And now, Morrow is waving his no trade clause now that would come into effect this summer to play with a potential Stanley Cup Playoff candidate team.

Morrow likes to play the net with his body, but that has come at a price. In the coveted 1999-2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he played through with a broken bone in his ankle. In the 2006-07 season, he missed 33 games after suffering severed tendons in his wrist. In the 2008-09 season, Morrow’s ACL tear allowed him to play only 18 games.

Brenden Morrow, now 34, moves to the Penguins after 13 seasons with the Dallas Stars. He skated with the Penguins this morning to a warm welcome from his new teammates and former Dallas Stars Matt Niskanen and James Neal.

“I know James well,” Morrow said during practice this morning. “Played with him, know what he does.”

Penguin coach Dan Bylsma said during practice this morning, “I think he’s pretty excited about playing for the Penguins, getting started here and with the opportunity he’s got here to play. So I’m really looking forward to seeing him step on the ice tonight and introduce himself as the kind of player he is to not only our team, but to the Penguins fans and maybe even a Canadien tonight.”

Brenden Morrow one of the Stars' heroes.

My most memorable Morrow game is the May 4, 2008, game. I was glad I had driven into town instead of taking the train, because the train stopped running at midnight and the game went into the wee hours, till 1:20 am. The longest game in the NHL and the 3rd longest in Stars history at the time. Our hockey hero, Brenden Morrow, finally hit the net and the Stars beat the Sharks in game 6 of the playoffs 2-1. We weary fans left the AAC tired but elated.

Will the Morrow addition to Pittsburgh’s forwards Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Sutter, Dupuis, Vitale make then top heavy? Not really. Morrow has proven his mettle in front of the net and can open lanes for other shooters as well as shoot himself, and, he has his chance to get another Cup.

“I’m looking forward to a new challenge and see if I get a boost from a new team, which I’m sure I’m going to with the skill this team has,” Morrow said.

The Stars probably won’t replace the captaincy just yet. Thinking is, they’ll go with three “A”s the rest of this season. One would think Jamie Benn a good fit for that role as he is a big guy with a lot of grit and determination to get that puck in the goal, but then there’s the veterans keeping the team on solid ground. Morrow won’t be the Captain in Pittsburgh, however.

“Sid, this is his team,” Morrow said. “No question there. I’m not taking anything away from him. He’s the best player in the world. I’m going to be a piece of the puzzle, not step on any toes. I think there’s a reason they saw a fit with me here.”

With the way the Stars are going so far, it’s unlikely we’ll make a run in the playoff, although I’ve learned over the years not to count the Star out, ever, in battling back into the top eight. This move benefits Brenden Morrow, Pittsburgh, and while it won’t help the Stars immediately, except for opening up a spot for the current forwards, it helps the Stars organization build for the future.

How strange will it be seeing Brenden Morrow in black and gold? Tune in tonight for the Pittsburgh vs. Canadiens game and look for #10.

Best of luck, Brenden! Except against the Stars, of course.

Last minute updates:

Stars sent left winger Reilly Smith and Joe Morrow to the AHL Texas Stars, not unexpected. Defenseman Aaron Rome is back from IR for the Dallas Stars.

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