On Friday afternoon the Dallas Stars announced that team captain, Brenden Morrow, will be out for at least six months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee the previous night against the Chicago Blackhawks. Morrow will likely require surgery to repair the knee. In his absence, the Stars chose to call up Landon Wilson from the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins.
"It adds to what has already been a frustrating season, but we have to pull together and face the adversity and overcome it," coach Dave Tippett said to the Dallas Morning News. "This will test the strength of our group. Are we willing to bond together?"
Morrow was trying to make a hit in the third period against Chicago on Thursday night when he caught the edge of his skate in a rut on the ice and fell awkwardly. With about six minutes remaining in the game, Morrow limped to the Stars dressing room. He did not return.
In 18 games this season Morrow has recorded 5 goals, 10 assists, for 15 points, with 49 penalty minutes. He was slowly leading the Stars out of the cellar with his leadership, but now he will be forced to watch from a press box in a suit rather than suited up with his teammates.
"You can't replace him. There's just not another player like him around," said co-general manager Brett Hull to the Dallas Morning News. "What we have to do is find a way to play without him."
Much like fantasy owners, like me, who built a team with Morrow in mind, the Stars must find a way to recover roster-wise. The Stars are dangerously close to the salary cap but will likely file for a long-term injury reserve exception on Morrow’s $4.1 million salary.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Co-GM Les Jackson said the team is looking into salary cap implication and owner Tom Hicks’ budget to determine the possibility of a trade.
Most likely Dallas must rebuild from within. For now, the answer is Landon Wilson, but the Stars have many talented prospects and this season could go from being a Stanley Cup year to a rebuilding year after an injury like this. Building up the young talent will be good for this club and make this team very dangerous in the future.
On Saturday the Dallas Stars will face their Pacific division rival, the Anaheim Ducks, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The puck drops at 7pm Central and will be radio broadcast on WBAP-AM 820 and on television on Fox Sports Net Southwest..
For Ken Armer’s Ducks vs. Stars preview tune into NHL 2Day at 12:30 central for talk around the league, more news on the Morrow injury, and everything else hockey as Armer and Co-host Alan Bass discuss this past week in the NHL.
Image: Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Getty Images
Quotes: Courtesy of the Dallas Morning News
Stars Press Release: Courtesy of Dallas Stars website
Ken Armer is the NHL Community Coordinator for Bleacher Report and also serves as the Community Leader for the Dallas Stars. He can be contacted on his profile or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.