Brenden Morrow wasn’t a particularly popular offseason addition for the St. Louis Blues. There was plenty of young talent ready to move up the pipeline, and the Blues didn’t have an issue with leadership on and off the ice. Some folks wondered why St. Louis would add a player like Morrow, who was beyond his prime as a player and a guy who had seen his level of play steadily decline over the last several seasons.
There were the obvious connections to Ken Hitchcock and Brett Hull because of his days as a Dallas Star, but this was a player who was five years beyond his career best campaign. What could he offer the Blues that they didn’t already have in-house?
After scoring two goals a month through his first four months on the team, Morrow is finally starting to settle in. He has two goals through four games in February, and has three points in his last three games. If this were David Backes we were talking about, maybe it wouldn’t be so noteworthy.
Getting production like that from the bottom-six is incredibly important for any team with true Stanley Cup aspirations, and right now Morrow is supplying a strong dose of depth scoring. Look at other contenders throughout the NHL, and they all have holes to fill up front.
The Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t getting squat from their third and fourth lines, the Chicago Blackhawks haven’t had a legitimate second-line center all season and all three teams in California have suddenly found it impossible to score. St. Louis isn’t sharing these scoring issues or depth problems though.
Morrow and his $1.5 million contract raised some eyebrows this summer, but he’s starting to erase any doubt that he’ll be an important part of whatever the Blues manage to do once the postseason rolls around. His presence allows Doug Armstrong to address other needs at the trade deadline—granted he feels the need to make any moves at all.
While Pittsburgh will likely ship out more futures to secure their top right wing spot and the ‘Hawks could trade Brandon Pirri before the year is done, the Blues will be able to keep most of their talent intact while shaking things up a bit prior to the postseason.