With 53 days left until the regular season starts up again, let’s take a look at a former Calgary Flames player with that number.
Since the start of August, we’re counting down the number of days left until the regular season starts up again! Everyday until the start of the season, we’ll be talking about a Calgary Flames player whose number correlates with how many days there are left.
Yesterday we talked about a player who hasn’t technically retired yet, but he’s been a free agent for the last year. Sorry man. That was on #54 David Jones.
Today, with 53 days left until the season starts, let’s take a look at #53 Derek Morris.
Who is Derek Morris?
Name: Derek Terrence Morris
Birth place: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Birthdate: 1978-08/24 (happy early birthday)
Height: 6’0” / 183 cm
Weight: 100 kg / 221 lbs
Drafted by: Calgary Flames, 13th overall 1996
Stats with all NHL teams, regular season:
As we can see, Derek Morris has spent a lot of time in the NHL. Over 1100 games. He was drafted by the Calgary Flames at that 13th overall pick, which probably left him with a few different emotions. Obviously excitement because he’s been drafted, but he was also projected at being drafted much later than that 13th pick (like, three rounds later) so it came as a bit of a surprise and shock that the Flames picked him.
Second, he’s from Edmonton. Being drafted by the enemy may not always be who you hope to be drafted for, but hey! Jarome Iginla was also from Edmonton, and look now. Moving on.
After Morris was drafted, he still spent that first year down in the minors in the WHL with the Regina Pats where he had 75 points in 67 games. He lead all defencemen in the WHL that season (thanks to the WHL website for making the 1996-97 season the first season I’m able to see for player stats).
Morris made his NHL debut with the Flames the following season in 1997 and had 29 points in 82 games in his rookie season. He was voted fifth in Calder voting that season. He played the next few seasons with the Flames until the 2000-01 season when he suffered an injury that shortened his NHL playing for that season and the one following.
In 2002 an unfortunate incident happened in the NHL. During a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Blue Jackets forward Espen Knutsen shot a slapshot which deflected off of Morris and hit a 13 year old girl named Brittanie Cecil in the stands in her temple. She unfortunately passed away two days later from the injury. That implemented the netting behind at the ends of the rinks and that is the only fatality to happen in the stands at any NHL game.
Of course, this affected both teams and especially both players who touched the puck. Morris had some words on it.
Via SI Hockey:
"You try to say, ‘It happens all the time,’ but you can’t. I don’t know how many times pucks get deflected over the glass, but it doesn’t make it any better. You can always say, ‘It’s not my fault,’ but you always feel like it is, a little."
After that season, Morris was traded to the Colorado Avalanche where he had a career-high for points with 48 and it lasted until he retired. Well, sort of. He never officially retired, but he hasn’t been an active player in the last few years. He’s played with several different NHL teams and played over 1100 games which is quite impressive.
Although he never won a Stanley Cup, he does has one World Championship Gold with Team Canada! So there’s that. Now, only 53 days until the season starts…