Tremendous drama just unfolded on Twitter, but all is well that ends well. The Pens acquired winger Brenden Morrow and a 3rd round pick from Dallas in exchange for defensive prospect Joe Morrow and a 5th round pick.
First: The future is bright. Maybe B. Morrow can't carry a line like he once could, but he won't have to. Assuming he skates with Malkin and Neal -- and you don't trade for another team's captain with a track record like B. Morrow's and not give him every opportunity to play with Geno -- all he will have to do is hammer defensemen and jar pucks loose for Malkin to collect and feed to James Neal. Basically he will have to fill the exact same role Kunitz filled on that line last year when it was supposedly "untouchable." For a team that showed a tendency to unwind emotionally last year, bringing in a 34-year old veteran like B. Morrow, who has been the Stars' captain for several years, is nothing short of huge.
Second: The drama on Twitter was riveting. Early reports said the Pens had B. Morrow. Then it was reported that he still needed to waive his no-trade clause. Then it was reported that Boston was involved as well. Then it was reported that the Stars and Bruins also had a trade in place and it was entirely up to Morrow to decide. Then Brenden texted someone that he would make his decision within 15 minutes. Then he chose Pittsburgh. As unprofessional as this entire exercise was, it was fascinating drama. And remember, the Washington Capitals were heavily involved in the Bill Guerin trade rumors in 2009. If they had gotten him instead of the Pens, it could have easily swung the 2009 playoffs. The importance of keeping the Bruins from getting B. Morrow (if he's still good) cannot be overstated. This is true regardless of whether Boston ends up with Iginla, because it's not certain that the Pens had a Plan B for a top-6 forward if it wasn't B. Morrow.
Third: It's impossible for us to shed any tears over losing Joe Morrow, a player with zero NHL experience. We will be more honest with you than almost every other pundit offering an opinion on Joe Morrow: we've barely seen him play. He may turn out to be fantastic or he may turn out to have been completely overhyped. We don't know. But we do know that the Penguins, and every team for that matter, have every incentive to artifically inflate perception of its own prospects to inflate their trade value. Just because Rob Rossi was supposedly hearing that the Pens considered Joe Morrow their top prospect doesn't mean that was remotely true -- it means they wanted other teams to think the Pens considered Joe Morrow their top prospect.
|Pictures like this make us feel a lot more comfortable trading him.|
Finally: As much as the Pens seem to have fleeced Joe Nieuwendyk and the Stars in the Goligoski-Neal trade, remember that B. Morrow had a no trade clause. Nieuwendyk's options were very limited. He got what he could for Brenden Morrow, and maybe Joe will be great.
There's nothing like the adrenaline rush when your team pulls the trigger on a major trade. Unlimited cautious optimism.