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Penguins acquire Morrow from Stars

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.

Here’s Brenden Morrow’s official page.

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.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Ben says:

    How tough is this brenden morrow? He once came back to the ice with a broken bone in his ankle during the 1999–2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

  2. Jared says:

    Is this a 1 yr rental or does he have more left on his contract? If not that’s a steep price for an old vet.

  3. Eric Bowser says:

    This deal can’t possibly be just Joe Morrow for Brenden Morrow because if it is, I don’t like it. With Morrow as 2nd line LW and Bennett as 3rd line RW… then Tyler Kennedy is gone.

    …waiting for official announcement before I really wonder why a 20-year old defenseman like Joe Morrow, former #1 pick, is the value of a 34-yr old LW that isn’t the same guy he once was.

  4. Tres says:

    Top prospect for an aged grinder? Don’t like it!

  5. Eric Bowser says:

    He’s a rental, free agent at end of season.

  6. Zack says:

    Well, lets see…. Last I saw, and I’m probably wrong, the price for Iggy was at least a second round pick, a top D prospect and am every day player. Too much. Morrow probably is had for our Morrow and a 1st or 2nd round pick? And Morrow gives Malkin what he needs on his line without breaking up Sids line. Instant boost on 3rd line if Bennett plays his natural position on the right side, feeding Cooke and sutter. Can’t see how it’s bad at all

  7. Harry says:

    While I think that Brenden Morrow would be a great fit in a top 6 role on the Malkin-Neal line, I think that giving up Joe Morrow is a steep price for a rental. While the Pens have a lot of depth at defense coming through the system, I really liked Morrow’s big booming shot from the blue line. That being said, there really is no doubting Ray Shero at this point, is there? We’ll wait and see.

  8. mike says:

    Why doesn’t Crosby get help instead of him helping Kunitz. And Dupres? I say get Inginla and move Dupres to 3rd line with Bennett and Sutter

  9. Steve Catone says:

    Brenden Morrow plays someone like Kunitz. Mlakin and Neal had there best season last year when playing with Kunitz. Player that will back check and do the dirty work on the boards.

  10. Chris says:

    I suppose there could be another piece thrown in like a 4th line winger and they’re only speculating on the main part of the return… or maybe there is just a lot of bidding for B. Morrow.

  11. Dave says:

    This trade will be judged after the season with two results:
    Cup – > Win
    No Cup -> Fail

    Joe Morrow has the potential to be a top pairing d-man for most of his career, but there’s no price too steep for putting the club name on Lord Stanley.

  12. Eric Bowser says:

    20-year old defenseman for 34-year old left-wing

    If you are going to move Joe Morrow, it should be for a long-term solution for a winger, not a 16-game rental plus playoffs.

  13. Zack says:

    Problem is Morrow looks more like Jack Johnson to me, with suspect defense. We were gonna have to give up something big for a top 6 guy, so many people have needs and few teams to fill rhem

  14. mike says:

    Shero isn’t done. I feel 2 more moves coming. I believe he is going all out to win the cup this year. He doesn’t want the feeling back from last year

  15. Thundercrack says:

    Fire Shero!
    Fire Bylsma!
    Fire Morrows!

  16. Brian says:

    I don’t like it! One year rental player for a stud first round defenseman. Did Morror fall out of favor with Pens? Did he not progress with Baby Pens?

  17. Jeff says:

    This trade sounds like a mistake. Giving up a top D prospect for a slow aging rental seems a bit steep. Sure, Brendan would bring grit and leadership, but no speed, iffy hands, and I’m not sure of his defensive work. Just seems like the Pens would be giving up too much for a few months work from B Morrow. Give them TK and a bag of pucks instead.

  18. Andy says:

    I really like Brenden Morrow but not for Joe Morrow straight up. Seems too off-balance for a Shero trade. Could be a “throw-in” like Niskanen appeared to be last time.

  19. Arriba Wilver says:


  20. Arriba Wilver says:

    How tall are they?

  21. Eric Bowser says:

    Pens need to win the Cup, this deal forces pressure on Bylsma and players to get it done because I can’t see Morrow coming back after season due to salary cap.

  22. mike says:

    Agreed, need more than some aging name for a future ringer

  23. Zack says:

    20 year old defenseman whose defense is suspect. But your point stands absolutely. I wasn’t seeing any great young names out there for a long term solution, besides Vanek

  24. Chris says:

    That was my initial thought… Hard to believe the dallas GM would make the same mistake twice though

  25. Adam says:

    I only like this if it’s part of a larger strategy to take advantage of the flexible cap this year and load up by acquiring both Brenden Morrow AND Jarome Iginla. Otherwise, this is too steep. Brendan Morrow is no more effective as a scorer at this point than Matt Cooke.

  26. DW1925 says:

    I love Brenden Morrow, but he’s not the same player he was two years ago if you have watched the Stars this year. If he’s re-energized by a trade here, then this is a great pick-up. Love his leadership and the toughness a Saskatchewan guy brings to a team. Still, I worry what Brenden Morrow we would get.

  27. Andy says:

    They could always throw Kennedy or Cooke on the 4th line. But I agree, I’d rather unload TK and get some value.

  28. mike says:

    Where u at DK?

    DK: Um, typing 10 paragraphs up in a couple minutes up there after the news broke?

  29. Zack says:

    Agreed, something else must be there. Shero doesn’t get burned in deals, he does the burning. We have other D prospects and we are very good at drafting great ones, so it’s not as bad as it looks on the surface

  30. Eric Bowser says:

    Kennedy and Bortuzzo are probably candidates to be traded for 4th line help…

    with Letang status, not sure if Niskanen could be moved.

  31. Brian says:

    If we are all in this year for a Cup wouldn’t Iginla make more sense? Jack Johnson on defense next?

  32. Andy says:

    If we got a throw-in, I’d love it to be Brendan Dillon. Big, physical guy who can really hit. Really doubt they’d part with him, though.

  33. Mike Adams says:

    I am in the minority in saying I like the deal. I agree that J. Morrow is a steep price, but…

    1. J. Morrow has struggled mightily in the pros this year. That’s not to say it’ll continue, but maybe they are seeing something they don’t like about him, too. besides, remember when Dallas “stole” Alex Goligoski? I do too.

    2. I have thought all along that Morrow is the type of player the Geno line needs. recall their success last year with Kunitz. This year, nobody was doing the dirty work like grinding and going to the net for the two snipers. This should solve that problem. he’s not Kunitz at this stage, but he’ll do.

    Now, just get me a shutdown d-man and a fourth liner and I’m happy.

  34. mike says:

    Ok, just checking… lol

  35. sidelinespensfan says:

    I understand why some people could have a negative reaction to this trade- they are used to the way the Pirates do things. If the Pirates gave up a prospect to get a “name” veteran that would add to their major league club and show the players that they are “going for it” this year, this town would REJOICE!

    Bottom line: Brenden Morrow makes the Pens a better team on paper this year. It also makes them grittier and a tougher out in the playoffs, again, on paper. They gave up a good prospect in Joe Morrow, but it was from a position of strength. J. Morrow could end up being a top 4 D-man for a decade, but so could 4 or 5 other Pens prospects right now. If this is the entire deal, it was a risk, and it was a risk that was worth taking.

  36. Jandy says:

    Broken foot? James Neal did that last season, did he not?

  37. Joey_Pittsburgh says:

    On one hand, I hate this deal. Giving up a top D prospect for someone 14 years his senior, slower, and a rental above all else (might only play 20 games here….) seems VERY lopsided.

    On the other hand, In Shero we Trust.

  38. Despres is a defenseman. I think you mean Dupuis. And if you haven’t been watching for the last three years, Dupuis scored 25 goals last year, 15 and 18 before that. He had 59 points last year. Crosby is leading in points, mostly feeding Dupuis and Kunitz.
    Iginla will cost a lot more than they can afford.

  39. Clint says:

    People forget the Pens have a glut of young D. They have Morrow, Harrington, Despres, Pouilot, Bortuzzo, Dumoulin, and Maatta. All those guys are not going to play in Pittsburgh when you have Letang, Orpik, and Martin.

    This is all about going for the Cup, and dealing from a position of strength. It makes the 3rd and 4th lines even better, and is a move worth making. Morrow knows Crosby from the Canada days, knows Neal from Dallas, and is a well known PK guy who has a nose for the puck and will do the dirty work

  40. mike says:

    Love to get Iginla. What ever it takes, just like Tocchet with a better shot. Also need a dman with some marbles to clear the crease. Give Tanner Glass to charity

  41. Jandy says:

    Say, what????

  42. Jandy says:

    That’s my sticking point with the deal.

  43. Chris says:

    I think the Bruins really want him, so the price would be a lot higher. Also, if we got Iginla we might not have enough cap space left for adding a top D-man… Not sure about our cap room but Iginla is making 7 million I think.

  44. Jarryd says:

    Getting Brenden Morrow for just joe morrow is huge! That does mean Tyler Kennedy would be out the door which is perfect. He is an RFA next year and I don’t think the pens want to re-sign him. We have given him enough chances to prove himself but he hasn’t stepped up like we wanted him to. So I can see him and despres going to either Calgary for Iginla or possibly Columbus for jack johnson.

  45. Jandy says:


  46. Kits says:

    Did morrow play with Neal back on Dallas? Any potential chemistry there?

  47. mike says:

    Now it says he is choosing between the Pens or the Bruins. Not done yet

  48. Jandy says:

    You don’t want much, do ya Mike? ;)

  49. Vince says:

    Is Simon Després the only Penguin who doesn’t have to clear waivers?

  50. Clint says:

    Among D he is yes, on the current roster.

  51. Eric Bowser says:

    If you are willing to go that far to win now, then I can’t imagine Shero leaves the defense alone. They need more size and grit, move Niskanen with Kennedy to get a big defensive defenseman that will help the PK and be a good partner for Despres.

    I like Orpik-Martin and Eaton-Letang as the top four.

  52. Brian says:

    Rentals won’t hurt us cap wise..I think I saw somewhere we had like 14 mil in space

  53. Andy says:

    where does it say that?

  54. Bjm says:

    This is a win now team…so they need win now moves

  55. Zach says:

    Morrow is a broken down has-been. He has slid down to Dallas 4h line.

  56. Danny says:

    Love the trade. morrow is pure grit and also has a good scoring touch. brings an immense amount of leadership too. they needed a guy who could hit hard and defend guys if needed and morrow can definitely do that.

  57. mike says:

    Please for Iginla

  58. Andy says:

    I was thinking the same thing, but remembering the Hossa deal. Remember how much Armstrong, Christensen, Angelo Esposito, and a 1st sounded like? Only thing that ever materialized on either side was a trip to the Finals, and Pascal Dupuis. Short- and long-term win for the Pens.

    Any ideas of who Pens might want as a 4th liner?

  59. Mike Adams says:

    No, Eaton is not top 4 quality. He’s a good bottom pair guy at this stage. He can be on the PK, but I don’t want him out there against top guys. I do, however, agree with your statement of the need. I would pair that type of guy with Despres if Niskanen is dealt. If not, that guy and Nisky would be a good fit too.

  60. mike says:

    Darren Dreger

  61. Mike says:

    I agree with this. This is why you stockpile these young d men. Can’t all play. Flip some for other pieces and still have elite d to play.

  62. Clint says:

    TSN reporting Bruins have offer on table to, and Rossi says Boston still in this

  63. Andy says:

    Not sure what the want for moving Niskanen is all about. He’s been tremendous going both ways this year. I’d much rather see Shero get a veteran d-man or two to solidify the third pairing and PK unit. And keep Niskanen, obviously.

  64. Mike Adams says:

    According to, they weren’t on the same line very often.

  65. mike says:

    Totally agree, Eaton is no saviour

  66. mike says:

    Yep, still means we could pair Crosby. And Iginla like in the Olympics

  67. Clint says:

    I dont know how much Iginla has in the tank, and his price will be 2 prospects plus picks

  68. Eric Bowser says:

    According to TSN’s Aaron Ward, Morrow waived his no-trade clause for Pens.

    Waiting for official trade details…

  69. mike says:

    He just chose the Pens over Boston

  70. Jandy says:

    well said

  71. Jandy says:

    I like Niskie as well, wouldn’t like to see him moved

  72. Jandy says:


  73. Chris says:

    I think this puts a LOT of pressure on the Bruins to overpay to get Iginla.

  74. Eric Bowser says:

    Another move has to be made… they are over the limit by acquiring Brendan Morrow.

    Cue up the Tyler Kennedy trade rumors…

  75. Eric Bowser says:

    At least Pens are making a push to win a title… some other team in town could learn a thing or two about that.

  76. Eric Bowser says:

    I think he lands in Boston.

  77. Zico says:

    Over what limit? Pens are still under the cap even with this addition. Unless you mean roster limit.

  78. Patrick says:

    If people have trouble accepting Morrow for Morrow, just combine the two Dallas trades and get Morrow and Goligoski for Morrow, Neal and Niskanen.

  79. Chris says:

    It’s a lot easier to make a big push to win a title when your team is in first place in the conference, on an 11 game win streak, and has two of the best players in the game.

  80. Andy says:

    I think it was just a pre-existing foot condition. X-ray showed broken foot at first but they figured it out the next day.

  81. woodman says:

    From TSN Stats:
    Morrow 2013/03/14 Missed 2 games (strained groin).

    Is this guy healthy?

  82. Eric Bowser says:

    16 games over… cough cough

  83. Clint says:

    Health can square those things away… Letang could be out for a while, so worry about things as they come up

  84. Clint says:

    Dejan – Does Morrow have any history of playing with Neal in Dallas?

  85. john says:

    ok who did they give up

  86. mike says:

    Dupuis is not a finisher. Iginla is. Move Dupuis to 3rd or.4th line see how much he scores

  87. john says:

    who did they give up

  88. Jarryd says:

    I think if Shero can make it work I think iginla comes to pittsburgh as well. I thought I heard Morrow and iginla are pretty close friends so they might want to win the cup together. Also if we put a package together to Calgary that includes despres Tyler Kennedy and maybe a mid draft pick the flames might bite on that.

  89. mike says:

    That’s the issue, he is so injury prone he could miss playoffs

  90. jesse says:

    flyers fan here… I’ve always like Brenden. Anything to help your current roster win a cup is a plus in my eyes. You guys are looking fantastic and good to go for a deep Cup run… I dont know anything about your prospect, but based on your last Dallas trade, you owe them one haha. Cheers

  91. Eddie says:

    Obviously if we win the cup this is a great deal. I’d rather have Iginla though.11 years in a row with at least 30 goals.

  92. Wanda says:

    Can you say Billy Guerin? Live the Cup run!

  93. David says:

    Love what this does for the Pens this year. Morrow can do for Malkin what Malone and Kunitz did during Geno’s banner years; dropping Bennett to the 3rd line improves its scoring touch and forechecking, where Beau is showing some real craftiness; and Morrow, who was Dallas’ captain, can bring a lot to a locker room who can lose focus from time to time

  94. Jeff says:

    Folks, lets chill out on the “Joe Morrow has top pairing potential stuff…” we’ve never even seen the dude play outside of some preseason games. It sucks to see him go but they have plenty of other young defenseman down there and IMO Maata will be the best of the bunch in the next year or so.

  95. Jeff says:

    Per Pierre LeBrun – Pitt gets B Morrow and a 3rd for Joe Morrow and a 5th rounder.

  96. Clint says:

    Pens deal Joe Morrow and 5th rounder to Dallas for Brendan Morrow and 3rd rounder

  97. Zico says:

    A voice of reason!

    I completely agree. Prospects are prospects for a reason. Plus you always play for this year. It’s not like Morrow was the only D prospect we had in the system.

  98. Dave G says:

    (Mike… You really had to be here to understand that one)

  99. Dcpinpgh says:

    Lol, I think it’s funny how many people don’t like giving up a prospect for a rent-a-player appears to be the same people who were mad at the Pirates for not giving up multiple prospects for a rent-a-player

  100. cherokee23 says:

    you sure your a flyer fan? this post is right on, and much too rational for a flyer fan! LOL

  101. Andy says:

    Haha there’s that throw-in. Somehow Shero gets a 3rd rounder out of this. In Shero we trust, eh?

  102. Arriba Wilver says:

    You keeping a chart ?

  103. Sisyphus says:

    Hope he comes with a time machine, because this looks more like a win-two-years-ago trade than a win-now trade. His numbers don’t look much better over the last two seasons than Kovalev’s did last year, so it looks like we’ve paid a very high price.

    Wouldn’t be the first time that Shero was smarter than me, though.

  104. Eric Bowser says:

    1. Brenden Morrow is someone that I wanted the Penguins to acquire.

    2. I never thought it would cost Joe Morrow to acquire him.

    3. Morrow by the numbers…
    — 6 goals
    — 5 assists
    — Minus 8 +/- rating
    — 48 hits
    — averages 6 seconds of SH TOI per game
    — 14:55 TOI per game
    — 18 penalty minutes
    — 1,203 penalty minutes over his career
    — scored 11 goals in 57 games last season
    — scored 33 goals in 82 games during 10-11 season

    4. Lines should be…
    1st: Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
    2nd: Morrow – Malkin – Neal
    3rd: Cooke – Sutter – Bennett
    4th: Kennedy – Vitale – Adams
    Extra: Glass – Jeffrey

  105. dcpinpgh says:

    it’s color coded with a power point presention or it’s an anecdotal chart…..

  106. casper in a-town says:

    Not a bad trade, EB, especially given the 3rd round pick. I hate losing Joe Morrow as well, although that’s based more on emotion than sense. Also, any time you can get a team captain in a trade, that’s a great character pick up. I also think that playing with the likes of our second line will improve his numbers.

  107. George says:

    Joe Morrow has a lot of potential but the point is to win NOW. The Pens needed the Guerin-like leadership that this trade provides to win the cup. Its why they won it in 09, its why they’ll win it again this season. Great move Shero!!

  108. Eric Bowser says:

    Unlike the Pirates, Pens got their man (Morrow or Iginla), much better result in terms of the player acquired than the complaints around here when Huntington got Sanchez and Snider.

    I just don’t like giving up on Morrow for a 16-game rental plus unknown playoff run. Shero is banking on this deal to make it 16 wins come playoff time.

    I would have preferred another defenseman like Dumoulin packed with Kennedy and/or pick but at this point, I can live with it.

  109. Utez7 says:

    Not sure why people are so sad to see morrow go….I’m sad we didn’t trade him before his stock dropped so much, but we have better defenseman, and defensive prospects in our system….it’s too early to know whether he will be all that was expected when drafted in the LATER part of the first round….that being said, we got the better morrow, and the one who can help us NOW. Shero strikes again….two thumbs up. (Althought the morrow we acquired has had some injury issues the past two seasons, he still has the talent and grit to fill a huge role for us this year, and possibly next year at a lower cap hit than his current contract)

  110. jesse says:

    haha diehard flyers fan. terrible season for us, we’re almost close enough for Seth Jones in the draft hahaaa, and we’re mostly rational. just when we play each other i guess emotions run a little high haha. Plus, I went to PSU and have tons of friends from pittsburgh and I visit often.

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