It's odd how things go, isn't it? This year might be the season in which there was most talk about trades involving right-shooting defensemen, and yet since free agency began on July 1st, Derek Morris has been available for any team to sign without giving away any assets. Sure, he's slowed down some and is past his prime at 36, but no one could use his booming shot on a second-unit powerplay?
Granted, he hadn't scored a powerplay goal in three years, but in his defense, he spent his final four and a half years in his second stint with the Phoenix Coyotes where the good minutes belong to Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but he played 19:27 per game last year - and that's the second-lowest ice time of his career. I'm sure a team deprived of leadership could have used him around 15 minutes per game for around a million dollars, particularly a rebuilding team full of first-round picks he could relate to (he was, after all, the 13th-overall choice of the 1996 draft).
The Calgary Flames never regretted their pick, as he was a 30-point man five times with them (with a peak of 38 in 1999-2000), although his career-best was with the Colorado Avalanche - 11 goals and 48 points in 2002-03, tops on the team at his position ahead of Rob Blake (45 points), Greg DeVries (32) Adam Foote (31), and Martin Skoula (25).
As a guy who followed both the Avs and the Flames, I've been very interested in Morris' career, even when he was playing in Arizona - though I did zone out during his 76-game stint with the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins.
But from his time with the Flames, I have these two identical cards from his rookie season showing him in the team's turn-of-the-millennium (1995-2000) red (away) uniform, from Pinnacle's 1997-98 Be A Player set (a signed insert version of card #245):