Derek Morris Is Like A Fine Wine

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Derek Morris —

DOB:  Aug.24, 1978       Born:  Edmonton, AB

Height:  6′     Weight:  210

Position:  Def     Shot:  Right

Drafted by:  Calgary Flames   Round:  1st   Overall: 13th   Year: 1996 NHL Entry Draft 

Derek Morris has been part of the Coyotes organisation for the past ten years with the exception of a brief hiatus with the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers between 2009 – 10.

Derek Morris played in the WHL for two seasons for the Regina Pats before being a first round draft pick of the Calgary Flames.  He spent six years in the Flames organisation before being part of a big trade to the Colorado Avalanche.  Morris spent two seasons in Colorado before being dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004.

Derek Morris is an interesting player because he’s not just a one dimensional defenceman.  He has never been expected to be the “offensive” guy or the “shutdown” guy, just a nice blend of both. With the development of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and the offence provided by his “main” partner Keith Yandle, Morris has morphed nicely into one of the Phoenix Coyotes better shutdown defenceman.  Derek Morris along with Rusty Klesla and Zbynek Michalek do a lot of the heavy lifting that allows the puck movers like Yandle, Schlemko and OEL do their thing.

When Morris is out of the line-up, the Coyotes struggle a bit when they play teams with a “heavy game” as coaches like to say.  Derek Morris plays tough minutes every night and at 35 years of age an 82 game schedule plus playoffs it is a tough grind.  To say I appreciate his contribution to the Coyotes would be an understatement.  I’m sure his coaches and teammates would agree.

Next time you ooh and ahh over a flashy play by Oliver Ekman-Larsson or Keith Yandle don’t forget the guys that have their backs.  That’s why hockey is the ultimate team game and the over-used cliche “there is no I in team”  is not an exaggeration.  It takes all kinds of straws to stir the proverbial hockey cocktail.  AND Derek Morris is a good one even if he’s more like a “Fine Wine”.

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