With the NHL preseason already underway, it was still surprising to see some big names left on the free agent market. Now one of those big name free agents has found a home, as Brendan Morrow has signed a one year deal worth about $1.5 million to play under Ken Hitchcock and the St. Louis Blues. The two men, Morrow and Hitchcock, are not strangers. Morrow played under Hitchcock with the Dallas Stars for the first four years of Morrow’s career. What makes this move interesting is that Morrow actually agreed to take a lesser role on this team, as compared to some of the other veterans.
Morrow spent almost all of his career in Dallas and finished up playing last year with the Pittsburgh Penguins. During his career, Morrow has put up solid offensive numbers, numbers good enough to help be productive to whatever team he was on. Morrow has also been counted on to be one of the better defensive forwards in the game. Sure injuries have taken their toll on Morrow over the course of his career, but he has still been able to come back and play at a consistent level.
What makes this an interesting signing for both Morrow and the Blues is Morrow will still play a role on this team, but it won’t be the nearly 20 minutes a night Morrow has become accustomed to over the course of his 13 year career. Morrow will be used in more of a 3rd or 4th line forward which seems to suite Morrow just fine.
What helped get this deal done was Morrow’s familiarity with Hitchcock and also General Manager Doug Armstrong from his days in Dallas. Morrow had a few teams still trying to obtain him for this season, but because of the familiarity with the guys in St. Louis, it made signing with the Blues easy.
Morrow will now be expected to help mentor a young Blues squad, average age of about 25. This is nothing new for Morrow, as he had to do something similar to that a few times in Dallas.
It’s a good signing for the Blues because they get another veteran presence in a young locker room and a guy who can still produce about 45 points a season. That’s is a huge plus for this young hockey club.