Last updated: March 25. 2013 3:32PM - 1696 Views
By - tvenesky@timesleader.com

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Shortly after Pittsburgh announced they traded Joe Morrow to Dallas for Brenden Morrow, Joe Morrow (I know, it’s confusing) tweeted that he was the mechanical bull riding champ when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were in Manchester not too long ago. The title, Joe Morrow said, is proof that he will fit in well with the Texas lifestyle.

I agree.

In addition to the mechanical bull title, Joe Morrow and his brother raise a couple hundred head of cattle on their ranch in western Canada. He could easily pass for a Texan.

But that’s not why the Stars wanted Joe Morrow. He’s 20, a former first round pick and a defenseman with a ton of offensive skill. We never saw it to the fullest extent here in Wilkes-Barre, but I bet Dallas will give Joe Morrow a long look and turn him loose a bit to see what kind of offense he can produce at the NHL level. I don’t think he’ll go down to their AHL affiliate - Texas, and join former Pen Carl Sneep right away.

Two years ago in Pittsburgh’s training camp Joe Morrow almost made the team and fit in well with the Penguins’ high tempo offense. The trade to Dallas is going to fast-track Morrow’s path to the NHL.

But what does the trade mean for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton?

Well, it creates a huge void on the blueline. After a few bumps along the way earlier in the season, Morrow had settled in to the Penguins system and became a consistent performer at both ends of the ice. The trade leaves the WBS Pens with Dylan Reese, Brian Dumoulin, Philip Samuelsson, Joey Mormina, Alex Grant and Cody Wild to man the blueline. That’s a decent enough defense corps, and I imagiine we’ll see Reid McNeill come back to serve as the seventh blueliner.

For as much as he’ll be missed on the ice, Morrow will also be missed in the locker room. He was popular among his teammates and was very poised when doing media interviews. He has a long NHL career ahead of him.

- It’s interesting that Joseph Morrow and Brenden Morrow both spent the first four years of their careers in juniors with the Portland Winter Hawks in the WHL. Does it mean anything? No. It’s just pretty neat.

- I’m looking forward to talking to Warren Peters after practice today. During his brief stay with Dallas in 2010 he was teammates with Brenden Morrow. During training camp I talked to Peters about some of the NHL stars he’s played with, and Morrow was one of the first names he mentioned.

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