With all of the trade rumors floating around, you can't blame a guy like Brenden Morrow for wondering what is going to happen. After all, it would seem like a trade for him is basically guaranteed.
Looking purely at the business side of hockey, the Dallas Stars have a player who is going to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He is not a part of the youthful core that will drive this team over the next 4-6 years (and as such will likely not be resigned), but he still has plenty of skill left to offer. His leadership can be a valuable asset as well, with Stars fans witnessing him carry his team to the Western Conference Finals in 2008. All of this suggests that the Stars have a player that they will lose for nothing this summer, but is valuable enough to trade for another asset before the trade deadline.
Looking purely from a passionate fan perspective, this can be hard to watch. Brenden Morrow has spent his entire career in Dallas. He even married the daughter of one of his teammates. For the same reason as above, Stars fans love his leadership, and will never forget what he did to drag the Stars through the playoffs five years ago. That is what makes it tough on fans, to see that Morrow might no longer don a Stars jersey in just a matter of weeks.
It's not really very easy on the player, either. Morrow undoubtedly recognizes the business side of things, and knows what is likely to happen. At the same time, though, his attachment to this town and team is obvious. And that makes it even more difficult to pay attention to the trade rumor mill that is constantly churning out his name. All he can do is play his game, and try not to be distracted by the media and internet rumors.
Mike Heika spoke with him recently, and believes he is handling this about as best as he possibly could.
Morrow has a no-trade clause, and he watched former Stars center Brad Richards go through a trade deadline, so he understands the control he wields. The guess is he will not stand in the way of a trade, and that he and GM Joe Nieuwendyk have a great relationship, so the two will work through this uncomfortable time.
Maybe the most impressive thing about Morrow is how he is handling himself. He took a demotion to the fourth line earlier in the season, worked himself back to the top line, and has been solid in his transition to a speedier line with Cody Eakin and Reilly Smith. He truly is dedicated to the Stars, and you can feel just how much he has given to the franchise in his 829 games.
"This team is important to me, and I want to play hard and help it win," Morrow said. "Until Joe comes to me and wants to do something, this is still my team. Since I got to this team, the only thing I've wanted to do is bring a Cup back to Dallas, so that hasn't changed, and it won't change until I quit putting that jersey on."
Brenden Morrow is showing why he has been a leader of this team. Despite everything out there, and what may happen up ahead, his is solely focused on what he can do for this team right now. That is one of the qualities that made him the Stars' Captain to begin with.
Wherever he may wind up, whether being traded to Boston, or Vancouver, or staying here in Dallas to finish out his contract, fans can rest assured that he will be giving 110% every second he can for the team he plays for.
Why? Because he's Brenden Morrow.
Coming up in today's links: Some additional previews of tonight's game against the Coyotes, why the NHLPA may not have bothered fighting the realignment, and a daily double of videos - both short, but both hilarious.
- Mark Stepneski has his game preview of tonight's game, including a stats match-up. I didn't realize that the Stars were nearly top 10 in bother power play and penalty kill. What a difference a year makes. [Stars Inside Edge]
- Derek Roy is letting his agent deal with contract negotiations. He appears to like it here, so hopefully a deal will be done soon. [Dallas News]
- Mike Heika has some good observations about the win the other night in LA. Unfortunately, due to pacific game timing, I'm just now linking to it. [Dallas News]
- There are obviously some plot holes in this realignment that has been approved, but the NHLPA approved it anyways. Did they approve to increase their odds of going to Sochi? [ESPN]
- Now that there has been an eye injury, the "should visors be mandatory" argument is coming on strong. The problem is whether or not players would accept it. (I thought all newcomers to AHL had to wear them anyways, but maybe someone else knows better than me.) [Sports Illustrated]
- The Blackhawks finally lost last night. I was really hoping the Stars would be the one to do it, but oh well. Here are the three stars from the NHL last night. The highlight of this link has to be the main picture though. [Puck Daddy]
- If you have time today, read through this grab bag of hockey items. It's written by Sean McIndoe, so it's worth it. [Grantland]
- Finally, for your video(s) of the day, we have a double feature. The first is the Oilers goalie Dubnyk surrendering a goal from being the center line. It takes a weird hop, but things like that should never happen. Now, set down your drink, and click play on the second video. Listen to the National Geographic-like bird call of defenseman Erik Gustafsson.