Thoughts: Morrow & Murray Trades

Morrow Trade

Joe Morrow and a 5th round pick in 2013 to Dallas for Brenden Morrow and a 3rd round pick in 2013.

1. B. Morrow is definitely a nice addition to the team – he provides a hardened, veteran leadership presence that can only add to the team.

2. He’s not the player he used to be. Points aside (11 in 29 games), he’s been bumped to the 4th line and doesn’t seem to fit in with Dallas anymore. He’s having a dismal year in many ways.

3. Dallas traded away someone they didn’t want and that didn’t fit in anymore. He was replaceable for Dallas. Remember that when setting your expectations.

4. Morrow’s role will change in Pittsburgh though. He’s not required for points; the Pens already have that. He provides depth and another hard-nosed player.

5. Look for Morrow to play on both the 2nd and 3rd lines. He has only been playing 14 mins/game this year. He may not have the speed to hang with the second line full time.

6. The player that may benefit the most from this deal could be James Neal. Morrow should create more room for Neal and allow him to drop back into his sniper spots 30-50 feet from the net.

7. I expect plenty of secondary assists from Morrow (especially when Malkin is healthy), but his intangibles will be worth more than his point production.

8. The price was steep with Joe Morrow, but where did he fit into the organization? There are STILL too many defensemen in the pipeline in the same age group. More defensemen will be traded in the future, and more will be drafted. Shero has this routine down perfectly.

9. Winner: Both teams. Pittsburgh gives up nothing on the roster and adds for a playoff run. Dallas gives up something they aren’t using and adds to their future. Neither team will miss the Morrow they gave up.

Murray Trade

A 2nd round pick in 2013 and a conditional 2nd round pick in 2014 (becomes a 3rd rounder if EITHER Murray doesn’t re-sign with the Pens or they don’t make it to the Conference Finals) to San Jose for Douglas Murray.

10. Another nice addition, but I don’t think he’ll have quite the impact people expect/want. Murray is also having a dismal season so far, struggling with his skating and keeping up.

11. He still has been very strong on the penalty kill and racks up a lot of hits and blocked shots, but Murray definitely can be a pylon without the reach at times.

12. I would think he’ll be on the 2nd or 3rd pairing, either with Letang or Niskanen to balance their skating and offensive abilities.

13. Murray will provide an understated value in taking a lot of pressure off of Orpik though. Orpik will likely see a slight decrease in minutes, a decrease in wear and tear, and less pressure to be that crease clearing monster the Penguins desire.

14. The penalty kill should improve significantly since they have struggled with guys in front of the net. Murray will create hell for guys on the crease.

15. There is definitely a question of how Murray’s puck moving skills and speed will work in Bylsma’s system. There will likely be a bit of an adjustment period there for him since they aren’t his strengths. Think about how other defensemen have struggled entering this system initially. Temper your expectations.

16. In an ideal world, if the Penguins go to 7 defensemen in the playoffs – Murray gets the defensive side and Despres comes in as a 7th defenseman to handle more of the offensive side. They could both be used as specialists very well this year.

17. Is two 2nd round picks worth Murray? In a vacuum, no, he’s not worth that much. However, the Penguins added the type of player they needed and gave up nothing from the roster. It’s still an improvement to the team for the playoffs.

18. The condition on the second 2nd round pick is interesting. If the Penguins don’t make the Conference Finals, would they even want to re-sign Murray? Are they going to want to re-sign him anyways with the defensive depth they already have? It would be fun to pick Shero’s brain about that.

19. Expectations for Murray – few points, probably a minus player, will help the PK, will show up on the highlight reel with hits, will probably drive you nuts at times.

20. Winner: Both teams…but leaning San Jose. The Penguins get the physical, PK defenseman they want and give up only picks. San Jose gets value out of a player having a bad season. It’s a steep price for a player who is probably gonna play only 12ish minutes per game, but it’s clearly acceptable if the Pens win it all.


21. When all is said and done, I would love the lines to be this if the roster stays as is: Forwards: 14-87-9, 10-71-18, 24-16-9, 48-46-27 with 15/17 rotating in as necessary. Defense: 44-7, 58-3, 2-(4/47) with 5 rotating in as necessary (41 taxis along the whole time). I would also not hesitate to bench 46 and play 47 in a seven defenseman system in the playoffs.

22. The Penguins picked up 2 players having bad seasons. Don’t forget that moving forward.

23. Hopefully Morrow gives a boost to Neal for now. As people freak out about Alexander Semin’s new contract (5 yrs, $35 mil), it’s interesting to look at Neal’s. His price makes far more sense when you look at his play without Malkin.

24. I would still love to see one more addition to this team – a penalty killing forward who can take faceoffs ideally.

25. Forget the Iginla talk. He doesn’t fit well on the roster now and the asking price is way too high. Look at all rumors as a way of driving up his price.

26. What’s the new standard for the Penguins? What line do you draw for what would make this season a failure? Is a second round exit a failure? Third round exit? If this team doesn’t make the Stanley Cup Final – is this season a failure? The Penguins are all-in now.

– @HockeyMeesh