This past offseason, the Dallas Stars signed Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney to fill two of the top-six forward spots. The team already had leading scorer Loui Eriksson and a revitalized Michael Ryder taking the other two spots.
The depth on the wings means that Brenden Morrow has become the odd man out in the four-man rotation. Now the team captain has been relegated to duty on the third line.
Having a player like Morrow on the third line has immense upside, but the biggest value could be on the trade market. The Stars should expect to field a ton of calls for Morrow’s services.
Here are four teams that could be in pursuit.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this summer that the Blues had interest in Brenden Morrow. The report also speculated that the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings could be contenders as well.
Since the Rangers acquired Rick Nash, it doesn’t seem likely they’ll be in the market for another left wing. The Sharks and Kings are division rivals, so they’ll have to offer up a lot if they want to acquire Morrow.
That leaves the Blues as the leading contenders out of the four teams mentioned in the article.
The other wrinkle is that St. Louis left wing Alexander Steen injured his thigh playing in Sweden. If the injury nags Steen longer than the estimated three-week recovery time, then it could be even more of a reason to pull the trigger on a deal.
Current Blues coach Ken Hitchcock also has a history with Morrow from his time coaching the Stars. The fact that Morrow would be going into a relatively comfortable situation with people he knows means that he might approve this deal.
The Minnesota Wild signed the top two free agents this offseason in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. But two free agents most likely won’t make up the 14-point difference between the Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, last season’s eighth seed in the Western Conference.
The biggest reason they would pursue Morrow would be for depth behind Parise. Their current depth chart has Torrey Mitchell and Darroll Powe listed on the second and third lines at left wing.
Mitchell managed to post 19 points in 73 games and Powe had 13 points in 82 games. Morrow was only able to suit up for 57 games and posted six points less than those two combined.
Adding Morrow would show Minnesota fans how determined they are to win now and give the Wild some much needed help beyond the first line.
The Washington Capitals already made a deal with the Stars during the offseason when they acquired center Mike Ribeiro. This makes great sense for both sides because Brenden Morrow already has fantastic chemistry with Ribeiro, and the Caps could use more offensive help.
Both the Stars and the Capitals have an idea of what each franchise has in terms of trading pieces and they know what the other franchise wants in return.
A deal between the two could get done the fastest based on their recent history. Like with the Blues, the added level of comfort in Washington for Morrow increases the chance that he would waive his no-trade clause to make a deal possible.
With the departure of Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, the Columbus Blue Jackets lost their leader and franchise player. Brenden Morrow is a little old to fill the franchise player role, but he can become a leader on a team that is looking to rebuild.
Every Stars fan loves Morrow because of his hard work and toughness on the ice. Both of those qualities are what every team tries to instill in their young players.
Adding Morrow doesn’t just boost a few wins in the short-term. What he can teach young players also helps the franchise for the long-term.