Who got the better Morrow?
There is a train of thought involving trades — which I tend to align with — that whichever team gets the best player wins.
But in analyzing the trade that brought Brenden Morrow to the Penguins and sent defenseman prospect Joe Morrow to the Dallas Stars Sunday, the question is simple — who got the best player in this deal? It's probably a matter of perspective and timing.
Morrow will definitely provide veteran leadership and a legitimate top six forward. Or on a team where your first two centers are named Crosby and Malkin, a top four winger.
But the question is whether Brenden Morrow is needed at this point.
Sidney Crosby has definitely found the chemistry with wingers Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, who are having career years.
And James Neal and Evgeni Malkin have been magical together. The third piece of that line seems to be what general manager Ray Shero was after with this deal.
But this deal messes with the future for a shot at a Stanley Cup run. If the Penguins win the Cup this year, this deal may have been worth it in the short run. If not, it wasn't.
But either way, the deal will have an effect on the Pens future.
Long after Brenden Morrow is gone, Joe Morrow will be tearing it up in the league.
And by adding Brenden Morrow now, it puts off winger Beau Bennett's NHL career and development for now. Bennett — the only Penguins prospect ranked higher than Joe Morrow before the season started — was beginning to find his place alongside Malkin and Neal. Now he will be demoted — either to ineffectiveness on a third or fourth line or back to the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
You have to believe general manager Ray Shero felt some heat to make a deal after failing to pull the trigger on a trade before last season's deadline. When the Penguins went down in the first round of the playoffs last year, that lack of a deal to aid the team's post-season run was illuminated.
But being bounced from the playoffs by the Philadelphia Flyers two seasons ago just illustrated two more pressing needs — a gritty winger and a stay-at-home defenseman. Those needs still remain, and I think Shero will still be forced to make deals to fill those holes before the April 3 trade deadline.
The Morrow-for-Morrow deal smacks of the Penguins' desire to make sure that Brenden Morrow did not fall into the hands of the Boston Bruins. Odds are those two teams are destined to battle the final five weeks of the schedule for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams had deals on the table and Brenden Morrow had to chose between them.
I have to wonder if this sets the scene for the Bruins to acquire winger Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames. The Penguins were also considered on the short list of teams in the Iginla sweepstakes.
Both Morrow and Iginla are rent-a-players, due to be unrestricted free agents in the off season. But Iginla would have been the better acquisition, although the Flames want more in return.
Brenden Morrow's salary is $4.1 million for this year while Iginla is making $7 million.
In the end, I think the Penguins got the better Morrow for now. But down the road, the Stars got the better Morrow.
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.