Boston Bruins Add Derek Morris

Derek Morris

On Saturday the Bruins added some more size and muscle to their blue line by signing Derek Morris to a 1-year contract. The 6-foot, 220 lbs, veteran bulldozer “offensive” defenseman joins the B’s in his 13th year in the league. An interesting move by the B’s after I was convinced they moved Aaron Ward to Carolina to make room for Kessel. However, I think Morris is a nice upgrade from Ward, I hope is 1-year $3 million paycheck is worth it.

It’s nice to see some more experience on the B’s back line. I’m not familiar with Morris, I’ve only seen him play a few times. But, he’ll be back together with some of his old teammates including, Savard, Kobasew, fellow d-man Ference, and newly aquired Begin. If anything Morris should be a little more solid than crazy legs Montador, who was so unpredictable the only thing you could count on was an adventure whenever he had the puck on his stick.

3 things. 1. What does this mean for Kessel? 2. Will the Bruins make any more moves to up their scoring power? 3. Does anyone get the reference to the posted picture? If so, I’ll figure something out to send you. I have a few posters left over from the playoffs.

Additionally, Eaves has cleared waivers, which means the B’s are now eligable to pay him outright, thus making him an unrestricted free agent. Not sure about the salary cap, but why not just keep him around?

Morris seems to be pretty psyched about coming to Boston, which is good to hear. Boston.com has more on the story, which is actually a good read and brush-up on Morris as a player on and off the ice.

Some quotes from Boston.com

In Morris, the Bruins feel they’ve signed a No. 2 defenseman who could possibly replace Aaron Ward as Zdeno Chara’s partner.

He really makes a nice pass. He’s got a tremendous shot and a really good offensive skill set. The thing we really liked was his compete level. You’ll see that in September. I think it’s a tremendous addition for us.

Morris, a father of three, acknowledged being humbled that there weren’t as many multi-year deals being offered. Morris hoped that he would play well enough in 2009-10 to earn an extension with Boston. “It might be one year. It might be five years,” said Morris. “Who knows how things turn out. But I’m ecstatic about where I’m going. My family and kids are going to absolutely love it.”

Julien and the Bruins sold Morris on the box-plus-one system, which goes in concert with how far the Boston forwards come back for the puck. “It’s a very manageable system for a defenseman,” Morris said. “You play your game really smart and worry about your own end first. Our forwards come back really hard. As a defenseman, that’s a dream. You want backpressure that will allow you to stay up a little more. There are situations where you might not have a great gap, but you’ll have forward help. In talking to them, they want me to do a real good job of getting the puck out of the zone and making that first pass. There are great forwards on this team control the puck really well. As a defenseman, my job is to get it to the forwards.”

Morris sounded like his late-season experience with the Rangers, which included a seven-game first-round battle with Washington, gave him some much-needed life. “In New York at the end of last year, I learned how to play again,” Morris said. “I had fun playing hockey again. It was a little bit frustrating playing in Arizona here. You start questioning yourself. I was questioning myself and what I was doing wrong and trying to make that better. Getting the opportunity in New York opened up my eyes to what it took to play in the NHL once again.”

bostonbruins.com has more details on the deal:

BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Derek Morris to a one-year contract.

Morris, 30, enters his 13th NHL season and Boston becomes his fifth NHL team. The 6’0”, 220 lb. native of Edmonton, Alberta was drafted by Calgary as their first pick, 13th overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He spent five seasons with the Flames, where his teammates included current Bruins Marc SavardAndrew FerenceChuck Kobasew and Steve Begin, and he ranked second among all league rookie blueliners in scoring and was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team in his initial 1997-98 Calgary campaign.

Morris went to Colorado in a multi-player deal involving former Bruin Stephane Yelle and Boston University alum Chris Drury in October, 2002 and enjoyed his best offensive NHL year that season with 11 goals and 37 assists for 48 points in 75 Avalanche games.

Morris was then traded to Phoenix in another multi-player transaction at the March, 2004 trade deadline and played five seasons with the Coyotes until his March, 2009 deadline trade to the NY Rangers for Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha and Dmitiri Kalinin.

While with New York, Morris had five goals and 15 assists for 20 points in 75 combined Coyotes-Rangers games last season and added two assists in seven playoff games during the Rangers’ series with the Washington Capitals.

Morris has missed just seven games over the past three seasons and his career NHL totals to date are 76 goals and 264 assists for 340 points with 794 penalty minutes in 793 games.

2 Responses to “Boston Bruins Add Derek Morris”

  1. July 28, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    Chiarelli overpaid this time. He also gave way too much money to Tim Thomas. Now a gritty two way player like kobasew is going to have to be dealt to make room for a guy who only cares about scoring goals.

    This is how the negotionations went:

  2. 2 commissionerdangle
    July 28, 2009 at 9:20 PM

    Great reference Kiiid. I couldn’t get it. Glad Sugarsean did and posted that video. Classic.

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