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Puck Daddy

Penguins add Brenden Morrow, who waives NTC to end 13-year run as a Star

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy

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Considering how well it worked out for him the last time Ray Shero traded with the Dallas Stars, you can understand why the Pittsburgh Penguins' GM might want to go back to that well.

According to reports, he's done exactly that, swinging a deal for Stars' captain Brenden Morrow.

Dallas receives a package that includes Penguins' defensive prospect Joe Morrow and a 5th-round pick in 2013. Getting Joe Morrow is a clever move: It allows the Stars to recycle their captain's old jerseys with only some minor damage where the "C" used to be.

Somehow, Pittsburgh also receives a third round pick from Dallas.

It was a tough call for Morrow, who had the hammer in this deal with his NTC. After 13 seasons as a Dallas Star, it must have been a tough decision to move on.

Complicating that decision: the Boston Bruins reportedly had a deal on the table as well, meaning Morrow had to decide which Eastern Conference team he wanted to join as well. Considering he was leaving Dallas for what could be his last, best shot at the Stanley Cup, that meant deciding which club he thought gave him a better chance to win. That's a tough call, even for the pundits.

But Morrow chose Pittsburgh, and it's tough to criticize a decision to play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The move has to be a scary one for other clubs in the Eastern Conference, as a Penguins' forward corps that's already as formidable as they come adds another big forward to their top six. Suppose Morrow is placed on a line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal: that line instantly becomes a lot tougher, as well as tougher to defend.

On the bright side, if this is the Penguins' big pre-deadline move, it could have been a lot worse. With the Penguins' reportedly on Jarome Iginla's list of acceptable trade destination, Pittsburgh's rivals have to be a lot more comfortable with the club settling for Morrow, who has just 11 points and is a minus-8 through 29 games this season and doesn't appear to be the same player he once was.

Granted, James Neal and Chris Kunitz stand as evidence that playing alongside the Penguins' centres can do wonders for one's numbers, and really, it's not like Pittsburgh needs extra offence. Morrow doesn't have to light the world on fire. Between Crosby, Kunitz, Malkin, and Neal, the Penguins have plenty of guys capable of doing that.

If Morrow can create space for them to work, then he's going to help.

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