As part of the Dallas Stars’ 25th anniversary season, the team will recognize many former Stars players at select home games deemed “Reunion Nights.” The Stars kicked off the festivities by honoring former captain Brenden Morrow on Saturday night before going on to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2.
Reunion Nights at American Airlines Center will feature pre-game ceremonies honoring the Stars legends, autograph sessions, and limited edition merchandise available exclusively at The Hangar team stores. Season ticket holders and corporate partners have the opportunity to take part in a special meet and greet with Dallas Stars legends before and after games.
Morrow played 13 seasons with Dallas from 1997-2013. He bridged the gap between the Mike Modano and Jamie Benn captaincy eras. After leaving Dallas, Morrow finished his career with short stints in Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay before signing a one day contract to retire as a Star on March 17, 2016.
The Stars drafted Morrow in the first round (25th overall) of the 1997 NHL Draft. The forward from Saskatchewan would continue to develop in the Western Hockey League with the Portland Winter Hawks before landing a full-time spot with the Stars in 1999-2000. He played in the Stanley Cup final as a rookie when the Stars lost to the Devils in six games.
To delve deeper down memory lane, THW caught up with Craig Button, who was the Director of Scouting for the Dallas Stars when they selected Brenden Morrow.
The Hockey Writers: What memories do you have from meeting with Brenden Morrow before the 1997 NHL Draft?
Craig Button: “We always spent a full day with the players we were interested in and thought we could get in the draft. He was a very desirable player for us. We told all the players we wouldn’t be meeting with you unless we liked you, but we don’t know how the draft will unfold and can’t give you any assurances or make any promises.”
“So we draft him and are thrilled, but he was upset on draft day. A couple of teams had told him they were going to select him and didn’t so he had a little snarl on by the time we chose him. Once he realized how lucky he was to be with such a wonderful organization, his happiness returned.”
“A team on draft day told us they liked him and thought he was a good player but they went with a bigger player they thought would be better suited to the NHL. The player did not have a career in the NHL. Another team told us we got a good player if you can live with him being 5’11”. That team also drafted a player who didn’t have an NHL career.”
Haydn Fleury took the ceremonial puck drop for Carolina. Brenden Morrow used to babysit Fleury when they were just two kids in Saskatchewan. pic.twitter.com/P8XBlAT61l
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 22, 2017
THW: What stands out to you most about his NHL career? Do any particular Brenden Morrow stories come to mind?
CB: “I don’t know where to start with Brenden. It was no accident he became Captain. It was no accident he won an Olympic Gold Medal in 2010. Brenden was everything we thought he was and could become and never disappointed. Brenden never cheated a team with effort and he was smart; he understood how he could make an impact in the game, it was impossible to push him out of a game. He was in it to win it. Brenden knew how to make players around him better and his contributions were significant. There was no style of game he couldn’t play.”
“I can’t think there was any time when a coach or the team would have been disappointed in him.
I have the utmost respect for him as a person and player, and Brenden is one of those guys you feel privileged to have been associated with in the hockey world.”
Related: Brenden Morrow Retires a Dallas Star
Morrow’s Stats and Thoughts on Texas
Morrow’s career spanned 991 games with 265 goals, 310 assists, 575 points, and 1362 career penalty minutes. He ranks fifth in Stars franchise history in games played with 835 and second in game-winning goals, trailing only Modano, with 43 game-winners. Morrow is also fourth all-time in franchise history with a career plus/minus of plus-104 despite playing during some lean years.
Morrow, his wife Ann-Marie, and their three children have remained in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Based on his recent interview with Stars writer Scott Burnside, it sounds like it will stay that way.
Burnside asked, “Does it seem strange to you that Texas has become home for you, that you’ve put down such deep roots?” Morrow replied, “I feel for me and my personality, I was really lucky to play in a market like this and have fans like this. This is a really special place. The neighborhood I live in, the southern hospitality, how polite everyone is, I love, and I feel like I was very lucky and blessed to be a part of this team, this organization, this city, and this is home, and I don’t see our family ever leaving.”
Stars’ Reunion Nights Schedule
Shane Churla – November 4
Vernon Fiddler – November 18
Guy Carbonneau – December 2
Todd Harvey – December 23
Marty Turco – January 6
Ed Belfour – January 13
Retro Night featuring Dave Gagner, Andy Moog, Neal Broten, Russ Cournall and Craig Ludwig – February 3
Bill Guerin – February 9
Jamie Langenbrunner – March 23
The Stars will also be adding more names to the list. For updates check here. Who would Stars fans like to see added to the list?