Brenden Morrow's 13-year NHL career gave him a lot of different experiences.
From playing almost 1,000 regular season games, to winning an Olympic gold medal, to spending seven years as a captain, to dealing with trades and injuries and pretty much every issue a professional athlete can face, Morrow has been through a lot. So now after joining the Stars as Director of Business and Hockey Development, Morrow and the management team will work hard to find out exactly where he can help.
"We know Brenden's strengths, and we have wanted to get him on board for a little while now, so we're happy he's joining us," said Stars president Brad Alberts. "Now, we need to find out where he can help the most and what he wants to do."
[WELCOME BACK, CAPTAIN: Morrow rejoins Stars as Director of Business and Hockey Development]
Since his retirement in 2016, Morrow has spent most of his time in Dallas. He has concentrated on his family and playing a lot of golf, but he also has hung out with good friend Marty Turco and attended quite a few Stars games. Turco currently is president of the Stars Foundation, but has served in several capacities with the organization. He has transitioned smoothly from the life of a former player to one of a versatile businessman, and he should be able to help Morrow on his path.
"I think this is a great opportunity for Brenden, and I've been pushing him to do it," said Turco. "He just has so much to offer, and the best way to find out what he wants to do is to get in there and try some things and see what he likes."
In a lot of ways, Morrow is fortunate to have a friend like Turco who can show him the ropes.
Video: Stars' Stanley Cup expectations starting next season
"Marty and I have talked a lot, so I think I have an idea of what I can do, but it's still a process of understanding what the job is," Morrow said. "I think there are a lot of directions it can go."
Morrow is fifth all-time in Stars franchise history in games played at 835 and second all-time in game-winning goals at 43. He was drafted 25th overall by the Stars in 1997 and was called up for the 1999-2000 season, helping the team to the Stanley Cup Final before losing to New Jersey. He was traded to the Penguins in 2013 and then signed free-agent contracts with the Blues and Lightning to end his career.
In the end, he played 24 playoff games with the Lightning in 2015, and Tampa Bay lost in the Stanley Cup Final to Chicago in six games.
All of the experiences have helped make Morrow a fount of knowledge. In addition to understanding what it takes to get himself to a place where he could be a successful athlete, he also knows how to help get a team to succeed. He has battled numerous injuries, which included knee surgery, a lacerated arm and several neck issues. He also underwent testing for post-concussion symptoms after his career was over.
"He's been through a lot, so he knows what it's like to deal with these things," Turco said. "He understands what players are going through."
The Stars have a former player in Rich Peverley who is helping younger players develop, and Morrow could explore that avenue. Or he could simply hang out with the NHL team and talk shop every now and then. He also will learn the inner workings of the business and will likely interact with ticket holders and sponsors to help sell the good word of the Stars.
Video: Game 6 Overtime Thriller
Turco has been very good in that aspect.
"Marty has the gift for gab, and I'm not sure I'm up to his standards," Morrow said with a laugh. "But I've been around him enough to know what he has been doing."
Alberts said he understands Morrow is a unique individual and will rely on his own strengths.
"That's why I wanted to get him in here and just let him see how we work," Alberts said. "There are so many ways he can help this organization, and we just need to get him in here and let him see everything. I'm excited about the possibilities."
So, too, is Morrow.
"I love this team, I love this organization, and I think the timing is right," he said.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika.