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Insider Only Penguins GM Ray Shero on the addition of Brenden Morrow and Simon Despres future with team

GM Ray Shero just spoke during the intermission about the addition of Brenden Morrow. Here a rundown of the media session:
(Updated: 8:50 p.m.)

*Shero cited Brenden Morrow’s playoff and Olympic experience among the reasons he had his sights set on Morrow. “I was looking to add a forward like Brenden Morrow, a playoff proven guy,” Shero said. Shero called Morrow a playoff proven player and believes he will add a “competitive spirit” to the lineup. “He played on the 2010 Gold Medal team and he’s familiar with a number of players here, having played with Sidney Crosby, Marc Andre Fleury in the Olympics. And of course with Niskanen and Neal, there’s a familiarity with the way he plays the game and is something we wanted to add, something we identified.”

*One area that stands out for Shero with Morrow is that he goes to the dirty areas which Shero feels is important come playoff time. “Real good net front presence,” Shero said of Morrow. “Goes to those dirty areas.” Shero claimed Morrow “is not a savior” but believes he adds to the group.

*Shero said Morrow will play in the top-9 and with second power play time and that where he and Beau Bennett play will be up to head coach Dan Bylsma. Shero would not commit to the spot Morrow will play. “I’ll leave that up to Dan and his staff, but I would see him playing in the top nine,” Shero said on where Morrow will play. “As to where he goes, whether he’s with Malkin and Neal when everybody’s back, or with Brandon Sutter or somebody else remains to be seen, but he’s a guy that would probably be on our second power-play unit. He’s a real good net-front presence. “In terms of what line, as we know some guys are interchangeable, but he’ll add to that forward group and again the competitive spirit we’re looking for, that physical nature of his game, he’s a guy that goes to those dirty areas and as we know when you get to the playoffs that’s an important aspect of what we’re trying to do.”

*Shero said it only took about 20 minutes for him to talk Morrow into waiving his no trade clause to Pittsburgh. The Stars and Penguins had this deal worked out last night.

*Shero said it was tough to trade a high end defenseman in Joe Morrow but Morrow was an asset to the Penguins due to the stockpiling of defenseman and Shero said “I don’t set the prices” in regards to the high price the Penguins gave up. “Trying to sleep last night knowing you’re trading a young defenseman is tough.”
*More Shero on trading Joe Morrow: “Joe obviously a first round pick, transitioning to pro hockey this year had his ups and downs,” Shero said. “He’s a good prospect, a real good player, and he will play for a long time in the National Hockey League. But, it’s a position of strength for our team.”

*One player that made the Penguins willing to move Joe Morrow was the development of Simon Despres who GM Ray Shero said is not involved in any trade discussions. “He’s not in any trade discussions,” Shero said. Shero said he is pleased with Despres development and compared him to a young Kris Letang.
A source told me the Stars first asked about Despres a few weeks ago and the price was too high, leading to talks centering around a Morrow for Morrow swap.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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