Following the news that captain Zdeno Chara will miss four to six weeks with a ligament tear in his left knee, the Bruins called up Trotman and Morrow from Providence on an emergency basis Friday morning. The two joined the team for their morning skate at the TD Garden, taking reps with the remaining defensive core.
"Obviously you never want to hear about a guy getting hurt, especially someone like Z -- someone you look up to and everything," Trotman said. "My first thought was it's terrible but I didn't really think too much into being called up or anything. Just preparing as usual for the game tonight in Providence. Obviously when I got the call I was excited to come up, but it's sad to hear about Z.
Morrow struck a similar note.
"We were both playing well and both kind of saw an opportunity coming when somebody gets hurt," Morrow said. "You never want to see anyone go down like that. It's not like you're sitting at home waiting for somebody to get hurt or anything. But things like that happen, it's a rough sport and I hope he gets a quick recovery. I'm happy to be here as well."
For Morrow, taking the ice for the Bruins would be his NHL debut. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the 2011 NHL entry draft, Morrow was traded to the Bruins from the Dallas Stars last season as part of the Tyler Seguin deal. Meanwhile, Trotman is a homegrown product, selected by the Bruins in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. He appeared in two games with the team last season.
During Friday morning's skate, the two primarily rotated shifts alongside Matt Bartkowski and Dennis Seidenberg. While head coach Claude Julien is unlikely to tip his hand as to what his defensive pairings will be for Saturday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs until puck drops, he described both Morrow and Trotman as being NHL-ready defensemen.
"Both those guys I think are going to becoming regulars in the NHL very soon," Julien said. "This is how close they are and they've had good camps so it's an opportunity for them to step in there and get some experience and help us out."
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli also spoke highly of the two.
"They're both strong kids," Chiarelli said. "They're both good skaters. They both can find seams, can find lanes. Joe's been a consistent performer down there. Zach just lately has been picking up his game. So they're both strong kids that can skate."
Both players have logged five games with Providence this season. Morrow has notched a goal and an assist and is a plus-four, while Trotman has one assist and is a minus-four.
While the two seemingly have big shoes to fill in Chara's absence, neither of them is expecting to be the one to shoulder that burden. Instead, each is just trying to help the team out, which is exactly what Julien could use without his most versatile defenseman moving forward.
"I think our job as defensemen is just to step in and play our roles," Trotman said. "Be good defensively, keep the puck moving forward and try to limit our mistakes."
Naturally, some pressure comes with the territory.
"A little pressure, a little push in the back is never a bad thing," Morrow said. "I guess there'll be a little bit of pressure. I'm excited to see what happens."