Islanders to honor Ken Morrow
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Through all the ups and downs and highs and lows of the Islanders' franchise the last 30 years, there essentially has been one constant: Ken Morrow.
The unassuming defenseman was a key cog in the dynasty years. He's been the team's pro scouting director since 1993, a feat that's almost as impressive as winning the four straight Stanley Cups after his "Miracle on Ice" 1980 Olympic gold medal.
"I've seen a lot," Morrow said Friday. "I've been through ownership changes, GM changes, coaching changes. I guess I've been one of the few who's made it through all of that. I tell people I bleed orange and blue. All I want is to see this team succeed."
The Islanders will honor Morrow's determined play and unwavering devotion before Saturday afternoon's game against the Oilers, inducting him into the team's hall of fame.
As a player, even if he wasn't a marquee talent, he certainly contributed to the Islanders' success. Bad knees ended his career after the 1988-89 season, but his run of Olympic and NHL success is unparalleled in hockey. Morrow certainly was a clutch performer: He scored only 17 goals in 550 career regular-season games but had 11 goals in 127 playoff games, including a couple that stick with him.
"I do remember the overtime goal to beat the Rangers [in the division semifinal] in 1984," he said. "That didn't lead to a Stanley Cup, but they were a big rival and that was quite a series. Ranger fans certainly remember it when they see me, even today.
"And I had an empty-net goal in Game 4 of the 1983 Finals against the Oilers. If you ask any of the guys from our team then, they'd probably say that the fourth [Cup] was as sweet as the first, because I think a lot of hockey people expected us to go down that series. The Oilers were the young kids trying to knock off the old guys."
Morrow doesn't spend too much time around the Coliseum. He's based in the Midwest and travels a lot to evaluate players.
"It hasn't been easy, that's no secret," he said. "The things that have happened the last years haven't been good. But this team is on the right track."