If you believed Ray Shero would stand pat, as he did last season, and not add a few pieces to an already elite team, shame on you.
If the you hesitated to jump for joy because you thought the price for Brenden Morrow seemed a little too high, you're not alone.
After all, Joe Morrow was a very good defensive prospect with a ton of potential as a Pittsburgh Penguin. And while the Penguins have a ton of defensive prospects already, not all of them are cut from the same cloth. In the end, however, this was the right move for the Penguins.
The Penguins have been searching for another veteran winger since Bill Guerin left at the end of the 2009-2010 season. When Pittsburgh was annihilated in Game 5 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, pushing them to elimination, Guerin was the voice that kept everyone calm.
Brenden Morrow is that type of player. His intangibles as a leader cannot be overlooked and they are just as valuable as a James Neal wrist shot. When the Penguins experience the highs and lows of the NHL playoffs, Morrow will be there to keep everyone on an even keel.
As for Morrow's play on the ice, many of the Penguins, including Dan Bylsma and James Neal (former teammate in Dallas) described him as a Chris Kunitz-type player. Someone who will go into dirty areas, and create a net-front presence in the offensive zone. His numbers aren't staggering as he was relegated to fourth line duty at one point during the season, but he seems like a perfect fit for the second line between Evgeni Malkin and Neal. Unlike Neal, however, Morrow is very defensively responsible and should help Malkin in his own end.
Pound for pound, Bill Guerin may have been a better player at the time than Brenden Morrow. And the Penguins may have sacrificed a lot more than a conditional draft pick to obtain the former Stars captain, but he will undoubtedly help this team. As for the other Morrow in this deal, the Penguins have a talented prospect that can cover his departure.
Receiving Dumoulin as part of the Jordan Staal trade is looking like a bigger acquisition now that Joe Morrow is off to Dallas. Dumoulin is now the only high-end prospect that can serve as a point man for the power play in the future; at least on a level where his shot is actually a threat. Morrow's slap shot was hard enough to obliterate a goaltender's mask last year in Portland; a little more power than some of Pittsburgh's previous first round picks.
Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot project to be better players, according to management, but they do not have that element in their game. Brian Dumoulin does. His shot might not be as legendary as Morrow's but it will get the job done if he develops as he's projected. Also, at 6'4, Dumoulin's size is obviously an asset.
We all knew it was impossible for every defensive prospect to play in Pittsburgh. If they did, the Penguins would need to roll five defensive pairings and two and a half lines. Moves had to be made and because of last year's draft, the Penguins were in prime position to make a move at this year's deadline.
Ray Shero trades Jordan Staal, and like dominos the Penguins are able to rattle off moves a week before the deadline to upgrade their team:
The Penguins acquire Dumoulin from Carolina which gives the team more flexibility to move defensemen. They take Joe Morrow, a kid with a lot of talent but a few development issues, and flip him for a gritty, veteran forward who is hungry for a Stanley Cup. The third round pick also acquired for Morrow, then gives Shero the opportunity to trade two second round picks (one conditional) for Douglas Murray aka Ulf Sammuelsson 2.0.
In less than 24 hours, Ray Shero acquired Douglas Murray, Brendan Morrow and a third round pick for Joe Morrow, two second round picks, and a fifth round pick. The price wasn't high despite the fact that the trade market is hyper-inflated given the situation of this season, and at the end of the day, the Penguins upgraded while teams like Boston, Washington, Montreal, and Ottawa are left with fewer options, and thus, higher prices.