Ken Morrow has reached a new multi-year agreement to continue as the team's director of pro scouting. Morrow, a defenseman on all four Islanders Stanley Cup championship teams and the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, will continue to serve as one of general manager Garth Snow's top advisors.
"Ken's incredible history of service to the Islanders has extended from his days as part of the dynasty as a player to being one of the leading voices on our scouting staff," said Snow. "His experience and advice have been invaluable to me. Ken was at my side last season when we added Ryan Smyth and Marc-Andre Bergeron, among others, and I'm very happy he'll be there for the foreseeable future."
Morrow was a member of the "Miracle on Ice" team in 1980 and then joined the Islanders for their run of four consecutive Stanley Cups. The Bowling Green alumnus was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995 and won the Lester Patrick Award for service to American hockey in 1996. Upon his retirement as a player, Morrow has served as an assistant coach (in 1991-92 under Al Arbour) and as a scout for the Islanders.
"I'm very happy about staying on and very appreciative of the faith Garth has put in me," said Morrow. "In my mind, I'll always be an Islander. To be able to play an important role in shaping our team means a lot." ABOUT KEN MORROW
By Jason Lockhart
|Ken Morrow |
Ken Morrow has often been described as unassuming and underrated, but if there's one thing the tall, slim defenseman isn't to any Islanders fan – it's underappreciated.
A native of Flint, Michigan, Morrow was an All-American at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, earning the CCHA Player of the Year honors in his senior year (1979-80). In four seasons at Bowling Green, Morrow went 34-92-126 in 154 games.
Despite not playing for one of the powerhouse Boston or Minnesota universities, Morrow was chosen to play on the 1980 US Olympic Team head coach Herb Brooks.
On February 22, 1980, the US "Miracle on Ice" Team knocked off the powerful Soviets en route to the country's most celebrated Olympic Gold Medal. Morrow had the distinction of being on the ice to start and finish the historic contest. Some might remember Al Michaels' famous call in the game's final moments:
"...Eleven seconds, you've got ten seconds, the countdown going on right now! Morrow, up to Silk...five seconds left in the game...Do you believe in miracles? YES!!!"
The famous American victory was just the beginning for Morrow, who had been heavily scouted during the tournament by the Islanders, looking to bolster their defense for their playoff push. Drafted by the Islanders in the third round of the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft, Morrow joined the Islanders for the final 18 games of the regular season.
With the addition of Morrow as well as Butch Goring and the return of Denis Potvin from injury, the Islanders went an impressive 10-3-5 in their final 18 games of the 1979-80 season to finish second in their division to Philadelphia.
From there, the Islanders went on to win their first of four consecutive Stanley Cups. Morrow became the first player to win an Olympic Gold Medal and the Stanley Cup in the same year.
Morrow would be an integral part of all four Stanley Cup-winning teams. While he didn't score many goals, Morrow scored a number of timely ones in the playoffs, including three overtime tallies. His most famous one was his series-clinching overtime-winner in Game 5 of the 1984 Patrick Division Semifinals against the Rangers.
You won't see Morrow's profound impact by looking at his career stats – 17-88-105 in 550 games over ten seasons – but rather in the way he carried himself on the ice. He was modest, but dished out thunderous checks. He was described as an awkward skater, but was always in the right position. His shot wasn't the hardest, but it was effective.
Morrow left the ice in 1989 as humbly as he joined the team back in 1980. But that was just the next step in Morrow's path with the Islanders. After a brief coaching stint with the Kansas City Blades of the IHL, Morrow re-joined the Islanders as an assistant coach to Al Arbour for 1991-92 season before moving to the Islanders' scouting ranks.
In 1992, Morrow was named the Director of Pro Scouting, lending his insights to player acquisitions at the pro level. His lifetime dedication and service to hockey earned him a place in the US. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Lester Patrick Award in 1996.
Ken and his wife Barbara have three children: Krysten Noelle, Brittany and Evan.