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Rangers obtain Morris from Coyotes

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Derek Morris, a 30-year-old defenseman, has been one of the league's steadiest blueliners for since entering the NHL as a first-round pick more than a decade ago.

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New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired defenseman Derek Morris from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forwards Petr Prucha and Nigel Dawes, and defenseman Dmitri Kalinin.

Morris, 30, was originally Calgary’s first round choice, 13th overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.  He has appeared in 57 games with the Phoenix Coyotes this season, registering five goals and seven assists for 12 points, along with 24 penalty minutes.

He ranked second among team defensemen with five goals, and was second on the club overall with 96 blocked shots.  He has posted two multiple-point performances, with two assists on December 4 vs. Toronto and one goal and one assist on January 20 vs. Detroit. 

The Edmonton, Alberta native recorded a season-high, four-game scoring streak from November 28 vs. Colorado to December 4 vs. Toronto, registering five points (two goals and three assists) over the span.
The 6-0, 225-pounder has skated in 775 regular season contests with the Coyotes, the Colorado Avalanche and the Calgary Flames, recording 76 goals and 256 assists for 332 points, along with 778 penalty minutes.  In 2002-03, he established career-highs in goals (11), assists (37), points (48), plus/minus rating (plus-16), power play goals (nine), and game-winning goals (seven). 

As a rookie in 1997-98, he ranked second among all NHL rookie defensemen in scoring, and led Calgary defensemen with nine goals and 29 points.  Additionally, he was named to the 1998 NHL All-Rookie Team. Morris has tallied three assists in seven career NHL playoff games with Colorado.

Prucha, 26, has appeared in 28 games with the Rangers this season, collecting four goals and five assists for nine points, along with 16 penalty minutes.

Dawes, 24, has appeared in 52 games with the Rangers this season, registering 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points, along with 15 penalty minutes.

Kalinin, 28, has appeared in 58 games with the Rangers this season, recording one goal and 12 assists for 13 points, along with 26 penalty minutes.
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