Joe Morrow flew beneath the radar relatively speaking, throughout a whirlwind summer for Montreal Canadiens followers. The large question is regardless of whether or not it was justified.
Morrow an NHL Defenseman?
At 1st look, Morrow, who has yet to set up himself as an NHL defenseman at 24 decades of age, was small more than a depth signing intended to hold the fort for the Laval Rocket in the American Hockey League. He performed in just 17 game titles for the Boston Bruins in 2016-17 right after all. He has never ever performed in more than 33 NHL game titles in any 1 time, possibly.
Nevertheless, his 1-12 months, $650,000 contract is a 1-way deal, indicating he will get compensated the exact same no subject exactly where he plays. Anywhere else that would be a signal the general supervisor has greater programs for him. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has done this in the earlier however, supplying 1-way promotions to gamers who had been destined for the minors. Daniel Carr is 1 example. Sven Andrighetto, who ended up shining with the Colorado Avalanche irrespective of actively playing 20 AHL game titles last 12 months for the Habs is yet another.
It may be interpreted as a reward to the player in question or a deterrent to other teams when wanting for cheap waiver wire select-ups. Contemplating Morrow’s last deal with the Bruins (for $800,000) was also a 1-way contract, in this precise case it is secure to say it would have been challenging for the nevertheless-younger defenseman to signal for nearly anything fewer than he did with the Habs.
It was an intriguing select-up by Bergevin for numerous motives. For example, Morrow experienced just a one support last time. Next, his scouting report looks to hint at Morrow currently being the type of player Bergevin has demonstrated to shy away from in the earlier, with “shy away from” currently being a cleverly disguised euphemism for “throw away like a facial tissue wrapped around a crushed bug.” Icky.
Morrow vs. Beaulieu
According to The Hockey Information for example, Morrow is an “aggressive defenseman who can put up great numbers on offense… but should turn out to be a more dependable player in all places of the recreation.”
Remind you of any person? It’s possible a specific ex-Habs defensemen who just proven a career-large in factors, but was unceremoniously dealt for a meager 3rd-spherical select in this year’s weak-to-start out-with NHL Entry Draft?
The similarities don’t close there between Morrow and Nathan Beaulieu, with both of those lefties currently being 2011 1st-spherical picks. Beaulieu was taken at No. 17. Morrow was taken at No. 23 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before currently being dealt to the Dallas Stars in the Brenden Morrow trade. He at some point landed in Boston as portion of the Tyler Seguin deal.
So, if you weren’t a fan of Beaulieu’s and don’t take into account the trade with the Buffalo Sabres a large decline, you are almost certainly wanting at the internet gain as considerably of a wash. Out goes 1 defensively inconsistent player and in will come yet another who’s the exact same age and cheaper. It’s possible that was Bergevin’s system all alongside, and, if it was, it labored out properly.
The trouble however is it is challenging to understand his reasoning if Beaulieu unquestionably experienced to go. If you are acknowledging that your workforce is in need to have of a cell defenseman, would not you retain the 1 you already experienced? Satan you know and all that great things?
It tends to make perception in 1 way, and that is head mentor Claude Julien, for whom Morrow performed as a Bruin. In fact, Morrow performed all 17 of his game titles last time beneath him, acquiring his last 1 in on January 22. Julien was fired by the Bruins on February 7. If you warp the glass in that method, Morrow performed in 17 of 50 game titles beneath Julien, which appears to be (just) a bit better.
So, perhaps signing Morrow was just a way to get Julien a player in whom he noticed potential (just 17 games’ worthy of in 50 complete, it should really be recurring, but I digress). Julien also notably scratched Beaulieu in the Canadiens’ time-ending decline to the New York Rangers. Does that nevertheless justify acquiring just a 3rd-spherical select in exchange?
Habs Hindsight Is 20/20
Visualize for a next that the NHL Growth Draft was not a component and Bergevin didn’t have to trade Beaulieu major up to it. In fact, logic dictates that it shouldn’t have been and he didn’t. That’s beside the principal place however. Beaulieu’s career trajectory was pointing up. Morrow’s is in a holding sample, if that. If he does regulate to get frequent actively playing time, he’ll have to leapfrog around at the very least a couple of the 5 other left-handed defensemen on the roster. That’s rarely a vote of confidence in how Bergevin has created up his defense.
It’s effortless to search again in retrospect and say no 1 could have predicted that Beaulieu would signal for just $2.4 million for each time with the Buffalo Sabres. Bergevin himself almost certainly couldn’t have predicted he’d have this considerably cap area (~$8.5 million) to function with into August. Of class, considering stories he wanted Andrei Markov, yet another left-handed defenseman, to wait until finally as late as October until finally a conclusion was made to re-signal him or not, that may well be by style and design.
Bergevin rarely will come out of this summer smelling like roses in any case except if he manages to do a thing near-miraculous with that area. Morrow turning into a respectable ability-enjoy quarterback, 1 that the Canadiens so badly need to have, would absolutely qualify. That regretably tells you all need to have in regard to his potential to switch Beaulieu, a defenseman that started off 2016-17 actively playing beside Shea Weber on the team’s leading pairing.
Sure, Beaulieu was at some point taken off, but people seemed at him last summer and reported to on their own, “He’s almost certainly Montreal’s finest shot at a defenseman to enjoy with Weber.” At this place, people are wanting at Morrow and viewing a bust.
He’s nevertheless younger and can transform into a serviceable player, but not devoid of more of a chance than he’s earned up to this place. Once more, 17 game titles, which is how numerous Beaulieu performed again in 2013-14 before currently being bumped up to at the very least 64 in each individual of the last 3 seasons, is rarely indicative of a mentor who likes what he sees. Time is operating out for him to present what he can do.