One of the great sideshows of every All-Star weekend is the convergence of hockey people from across North America — and the rumors that emerge from said convergence.
This year, the trade winds started blowing as soon as folks arrived in Ottawa, with TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting there’s talk Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow may become available by the Feb. 27 trade deadline.
The development is a bit of a stunner considering Morrow is the Stars captain and spent his entire NHL career in Dallas. There’s also the not-so-tiny fact Dallas is smack in the midst of the Western Conference playoff race — 10th spot, three points out of eighth, with games in hand — and new owner Tom Gaglardi said he’d spend money to keep the team competitive.
Doesn’t sound like a team willing to trade its heart and soul, does it?
That said, there are some things to consider.
— Morrow, 33, has this season and one more with an annual cap hit of $4.1 million but, as McKenzie writes, “the veteran winger also has some hard miles on him.” (Note: Morrow has a no-trade clause.)
— Given Dallas’ (apparent) future lies with the 26-and-under core of Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson, Alex Goligoski and prospects Scott Glennie and Jack Campbell, Morrow could be flipped for young talent and/or draft picks. Remember, Dallas didn’t have first-round picks in 2007 or 2008.
— Morrow’s stock was already high, but he raised it with a stellar performance for Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver (the Sun’s Iain MacIntyre said Morrow had “the tournament of his life.”) His ability to fit seamlessly alongside a number of talented players — most notably Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry — make Morrow the ideal rental player, a guy that can move on short notice and still make a big impact.
Translation: There would be plenty of buyers for Morrow, and plenty of buyers raises Dallas’ asking price.
While trading Morrow would be bold (and, some would argue, crazy) it’s definitely a situation worth following.