Ray Shero has struck again.
The Penguins general manager acquired veteran left winger Brenden Morrow from the Dallas Stars on Sunday, Morrow's agent confirmed.
To land Morrow, the Penguins surrendered Joe Morrow, a defense prospect who was the 23rd overall pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Going into this season the Penguins rated him as the top overall prospect in their organization, slightly ahead of left winger Beau Bennett.
Shero could not be reached immediately for comment.
Joe Morrow was one of three first-round picks among Penguins defensive prospects. A fourth, Simon Despres, has played in 23 games with the Penguins this season.
Brenden Morrow, 34, waived a clause in his contract to join the Penguins. He will not play for the club against the Philadelphia Flyers at Consol Energy Center on Sunday night.
Shero had sought a top-six winger before the NHL trade deadline, April 3.
However, he did not want to break up captain Sidney Crosby's line, which includes left winger Chris Kunitz and right winger Pascal Dupuis.
Coach Dan Bylsma also did not favor breaking up the top line – concerned with possible locker-room troubles if Dupuis, a popular leader, was demoted to a third line.
Crosby and Kunitz were first and second in overall scoring as of Sunday.
Kunitz spent most of last season playing on a line with center Evgeni Malkin and right winger James Neal, but only because Crosby played in just 22 games while dealing with concussion symptoms.
Kunitz, Crosby and Dupuis were reunited for the playoffs last season. That line has been intact since the 2010-11 season when Crosby has been healthy.
Malkin, the MVP last season and a two-time scoring champion, has not meshed with any of the players the Penguins have tried as his left winger this season – with the exception of Matt Cooke, whom coaches prefer to keep on a third line.
Malkin will miss an eighth consecutive game on Sunday. He has played in only three of the past 14 games because of a shoulder injury (current) and concussion (previous).
Before the concussion, which cost him four games, Malkin had scored only four goals and recorded 22 points.
Brenden Morrow has scored six goals and recorded 11 points in 29 games with the Stars, but he has 243 goals and 528 points in 835 career games. He has played in 78 playoff games, scoring 17 goals and producing 42 points.
Listed at 6-foot and 209 pounds, he is a reputable physical winger that plays in tight quarters.
Malkin won a scoring title with a big left winger, Ruslan Fedotenko, in 2009, and his MVP season came with Kuntiz, who plays a physical style.
Malkin also finished second in scoring in 2008 while playing with Ryan Malone, another big, physical left winger.
This is not the first time Shero has looked to Dallas for improvement. He sent defenseman Alex Goligoski to the Stars in February 2011 for Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen.
Shero has made moves during the trade-deadline period in all but one season since taking over the Penguins in May 2006. He did not make a move last season, the third in a row that the Penguins were eliminated by a lower-seeded club in the playoffs.
The Penguins are likely not done.
Shero is targeting a fourth-line center and defensive depth, both of which could help a penalty kill that ranked 20th as of Sunday.
The Penguins (24-8,0, 48 points) have won 11 consecutive games.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.
Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3712501-74/penguins-season-winger#ixzz2OUtGvh7x
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook