By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
The Penguins are set to acquire left winger Brenden Morrow from the Stars, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, who adds that defense prospect Joe Morrow will go to Dallas.
He’s a 34-year-old rental, and his numbers obviously are on the decline, but he’s only two years removed from putting up a career-high 33 goals and making a rich, deep Canada roster for the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
More important, the Penguins see him as the right fit.
The Penguins’ idea for Morrow is to have someone to go to the net for Evgeni Malkin. They looked back at some of Malkin’s video from their Stanley Cup years and saw that he thrived when he had Ruslan Fedotenko going to the net and creating lanes for him to cut in from the outside.
It’s an interesting way of looking at the situation, and it at least partially explains why they’re fine with moving Beau Bennett back to the third line. Bennett’s much more of a perimeter winger, a playmaking type. He’s been very good, I think, but not necessarily a complement for Malkin and James Neal, both of whom could benefit from that go-to-the-net type.
People are going to cringe at giving up Joe Morrow in the deal, the first-round pick from two years ago. And it’s true that, if you’re looking just at weighing a trade, it’s a big risk.
But I say this all the time and will repeat here: Trades aren’t about winning trades. They’re about winning games.
People get so caught up in fantasy-type analysis of trades, but that’s not what this type of deal is about. It’s about finding the right pieces to win a Stanley Cup this year.
And if you don’t think this team is worth adding to, you haven’t been paying attention to either the Penguins or how the Eastern Conference playoff field is shaping up.
I like Joe Morrow, and that didn’t waver even when he struggled so mightily this winter that the Baby Penguins had to yank him from the lineup and essentially do a rebuild on his defending techniques and his confidence. But you’ve got to remember that this is why the Penguins draft all these defensemen. They do it precisely so they can move the ones in surplus for needs that they have at the deadline.
It’s about the Cup, not about giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to an individual trade.
UPDATE 5:04 p.m.: The Bruins remain in active pursuit of Morrow, as well, our Rob Rossi reports. Morrow is said to be choosing between the Penguins and Bruins, per the rights in his no-trade clause. Clearly, this isn’t over yet.
5:21: Multiple reports now that Morrow has accepted a trade to Pittsburgh. Still not official.
5:57: The deal is done.