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by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes


GLENDALE, ARIZONA -- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that defenseman Derek Morris and center Steven Reinprecht have agreed to terms on three-year contracts.  As per club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

"These are players that we have acquired earlier through trades and players that we have identified as a part of our desired core moving forward," said Barnett.  "Derek Morris would have been the youngest defenseman in this summer's free agent group at age 27.  Steve Reinprecht is a skilled and versatile forward who, at only 29, will play on one of our top lines.  We're very pleased that they've both chosen to refrain from exploring the opportunities of total free agency to instead remain in our organization."

In 33 games with the Coyotes this season, Morris has registered 2-14-16 and 22 penalty minutes (PIM).  The 27-year-old native of Edmonton, Alberta ranks third on the Coyotes in average ice time with 20:13 per game.  Morris was acquired by the Coyotes on Mar. 9, 2004 along with Keith Ballard from Colorado in exchange for Chris Gratton, Ossi Vaananen and a 2nd round choice in the 2005 Entry Draft.

In eight NHL seasons with Calgary, Colorado and Phoenix, the 6-foot-0, 220-pound Morris has played in 534 NHL games, registering 53-206-259 and 524 PIM.  He has also scored 29 power play goals and 19 game-winning goals.  In seven NHL playoff games (all with Colorado), he has registered 0-3-3 and 6 PIM.

Morris' best season came in 2002-03 with Colorado when he set career highs in goals (11), assists (37), points (48), power play goals (9), game-winning goals (7) and plus/minus (+16).  He finished tied for seventh among all NHL defensemen in scoring that season.

Originally drafted by the Calgary Flames in the first round (13th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, Morris was named to the 1998 NHL All Rookie Team when he led all Calgary defensemen in goals and points with 9-20-29 in 82 games with the Flames.  In 1996-97, Morris led all Western Hockey League (WHL) defensemen in scoring with 18-57-75 in 67 games with Regina.  He also earned WHL East First Team All-Star honors that season.

Reinprecht, 29, has collected 13-20-33 and 26 PIM in 60 games with Phoenix and Calgary this season.  He joined the Coyotes last month when he was acquired in a trade with Calgary along with goaltender Philippe Sauve in exchange for goaltender Brian Boucher and left wing Mike Leclerc on Feb. 1.  Reinprecht is currently riding a four-game point streak with the Coyotes, tallying three goals and one assist during that span.

The 6-foot, 195-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta has played in six NHL seasons with Los Angeles, Colorado, Calgary and Phoenix, recording 72-123-195 and 82 PIM in 329 career NHL games.  Reinprecht has also played in 50 career NHL playoff games with Colorado and Calgary, tallying 10-10-20 and 10 PIM.

Reinprecht was a member of the 2001 Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche, playing in 22 playoff games.  His two best offensive seasons came with Colorado in 2001-02 and 2002-03.  In 67 games with the Avs in '01-02, he scored a career-high 19 goals and also collected 46 points.  The next season, Reinprecht set career highs with 33 assists and 51 points in 77 games. 

Reinprecht began his NHL career by signing with Los Angeles as a free agent on Mar. 31, 2000 following a very successful collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin (WCHA).  In four seasons at Wisconsin from 1996-97 to 1999-00, he scored 72 goals and 162 points in 154 games.  In fact, in his senior year, he led the entire nation in scoring with 66 points in only 37 games and was named WCHA First Team All-Star, WCHA Player of the Year and NCAA West First All-American Team.

The Coyotes return to the ice tomorrow night to face the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Nationwide Arena.  The game will be played at 5:00 p.m. Arizona time and will be broadcast on KDUS (1060-AM).

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