Friday night, Stan Bowman made his first of many expected moved leading up to the NHL's trade deadine on February 27th. He acquired veteran center Brendan Morrison from the Calgary Flames in exchange for prospect and AHL All Star Brian Connelly.
Morrison, 36, has 4 goals and 7 assists in 28 games this season. His best years were spent in Vancouver, centering what at the time was one of the NHL's best lines with Todd Bertuzzi and Markus Naslund on his wings. Nowadays, Morrison is more of a defensive centerman whose recent career has been riddled with injury.
So what can Hawk fans expect from Morrison? I would suspect the initial plan is to play him at the 2nd or 3rd line center. If / when the Hawks can add a legit, #2 offensive center (someone capable of 60 points or so), Morrison would move to the 4th line and focus on winning faceoffs and playing defense. Ultimately, I think he will play a similar role to what Ryan Johnson provided the Blackhawks last season.
Connelly, who has been quite impressive with the Rockford Ice Hogs this season, was still at best 2nd in the organization on the depth chart behind Dylan Olsen, who looked very solid in his brief call up. Connelly was unlikely to see any time with the big club any time soon, if at all. Bowman traded organizational depth for an NHL weakness, and I doubt he's done upgrading the roster at this point. A big need has been filled. Now he can focus on adding a veteran defenseman without the panic of not getting any center at all. Should a deal for another center fall though, the Hawks are still in decent (if not ideal) shape heading into the playoffs.
Bottom line? The Hawks are a better team at 9pm than they were at 9am today. It's a solid start to what should be a busy trade season for Bowman and the Blackhawks.
Filed under: Blackhawks, blackhawks trade, brendan morrison, brian connelly, calgary flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Sports, danny mac show, dave bolland, hockey, jay zawaski, jonathan toews, NHL, Patrick Kane, patrick sharp, rockford ice hogs, sports, stan bowman, vancouver canucks
Tags: blackhawks, blackhawks trade, brendan morrison, brian connelly, Calgary Flames, chicago blackhawks, chicago sports, danny mac show, dave bolland, hockey, jay zawaski, jonathan toews, NHL, rockford ice hogs, Sports, stan bowman, vancouver canucks