We all knew it was coming. Even so, I was still pretty surprised when the Stars announced today that they swapped Brenden Morrow and third-rounder for Joe Morrow and a fifth-round pick. And thus, the Morrow era has come to an end in Dallas. I like the trade (and I think the Penguins might have slightly overpaid), but I have mixed feelings about Brenden leaving. Trades are just part of the business, but saying good-bye to a player who has given so much to the Stars isn’t easy.
Few players have shown the heart and soul that our captain has had at times, but there’s no denying that the Morrow we traded is a different Morrow than we saw in 2008. Five years ago, Morrow embarked on one of the greatest individual playoff efforts of the decade. Now, he’s an oft-injured disappointment who’s only shown rare glimpses of his magical 2008 form. Having your captain demoted to the fourth lines at times is, quite frankly, embarrassing. Morrow’s best hockey seems to be far behind him, and he wasn’t going to be re-signed. But at the end of the day, he’s still our captain and one of the greatest to ever wear a Stars sweater. So we say good-bye to one of the most frustrating (and beloved) players on the team.
The journey hasn’t always been easy for Brenden Morrow, but his passion and leadership has never swayed. If he does win a Stanley Cup, my biggest regret is that it won’t be with Dallas, the team he left such an indelible mark on. In fact, for some his true legacy will be that he was a part of some great teams that just weren’t quite good enough. But that seems unfair to Morrow.
What I’ll remember most about Morrow is his heart. It’s not something you can touch; rather, it’s something that touched all of us. I’ll never forget his Conn Smythe-worthy performance in 2008. I’ll never forget his ferocity and willingness to stand up for his team, especially when he took on the Vancouver bench hobbling on one foot. I’ll never forget everything he gave to this team. Some people are just made to be leaders. Brenden Morrow is one of those people.
With Morrow’s departure, only three players remain from that miracle 2008 playoff team—Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley, and Loui Eriksson. This shows just how different the Stars are from that 2008 team. And Morrow leaving hurts more than anything.
For Stars fans, it will be very strange to see Brenden play in Pittsburgh. This trade feels very similar to management’s decision not to re-sign Mike Modano three years ago. Once again, a popular player is leaving and even though it’s the best decision, it’s not an easy one to accept.
Most people will remember him for this:
But this is who Brenden Morrow is:
So long, #10. And thank you for everything.