In the world of sports, the city of Flint, Michigan, is usually best known as the home of superstar basketball players. But in hockey it is also famous for producing Ken Morrow.
Morrow is one of the few hockey players to win the Stanley Cup and an Olympic gold medal in the same year. The magic year for him was 1980. Morrow was 23 years old and a member of the 1980 USA Miracle on Ice squad that won the gold in Lake Placid in February. He then finished the 1980-81 season with the New York Islanders, winning the Stanley Cup in May.
From 1975 to 1979, Morrow played college hockey on a scholarship for Bowling Green University in Ohio and was an NCAA West all-American there in 1978. His best collegiate year was in 1978-79, when he scored 15 goals and 37 assists in 45 games for Bowling Green. In 1979 Morrow was named Central Collegiate Hockey Association player of the year. The New York Islanders with their fourth choice, 68th overall, in the 1976 Amateur Draft drafted him, but he stayed in college until 1979.
After Morrow started playing with the Islanders, he quickly proved he was an NHL-caliber player. The team's front office felt so confident with him in the lineup that they traded veterans Bill Harrison and Dave Lewis to the L.A. Kings for Butch Goring, the last player the Isles needed to put together a Cup-winning team.
Morrow was never a great goal scorer. In his best season with the Islanders, he accumulated only 19 points from one goal and 18 assists, but he made a significant contribution to the game in many other ways. In the 1983-84 playoffs, for example, he registered only three points, but two of them were crucial to the team's success. One was the winning goal in overtime that eliminated the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs; the other was an assist on the game-winning goal by Mike Bossy in the fourth game of the semifinals against Montreal.
In all, Morrow played 10 seasons in the NHL and was a member of the New York Islanders dynasty teams of 1980 to 1983 that won the Stanley Cup four straight times. Plagued by knee problems late in his career, Morrow was forced into early retirement. After his playing career, Morrow coached with Flint and Kansas City of the International Hockey League.
In 1991-92, Morrow returned to the Islanders as an assistant coach and then went on to serve as the team's director of pro scouting. Three years later he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and in 1996 got the Lester Patrick Award for his contribution to hockey in the United States.