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07-30-2013, 10:56 AM
A Nonny Mouse
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted by
Some respectable points made here, but would agree to disagree on others. The fact that Morris is a great locker room presence with community ties is really admirable, but if he’s one of their primary penalty killers, it’s surprising that the fans and local media haven’t been a bit more vocal for adjustments or changes. Folks may not be aware, but he’s been on the ice for the ninth most power play goals among all active defensemen, so his +/- issues aren’t just confined to even strength play. And their penalty killing unit was one of only nine teams under 80% last year and was tied for the seventh most goals allowed. His struggles in this area throughout his career would call the decision to play him in these situations into question.
Last year our PK and defense as a whole was pretty inconsistent (IMO, the teams that rely more on their defensive systems instead of talent all had their struggles with the compressed post-lockout schedule). The season before though the Yotes were 8th in the league at the PK (85.5%).
Again, from what I've seen (and I've seen every Yotes game in the past 4 seasons), I have to disagree with your assessment about Morris. Morris has been a fairly effective PKer in his 2nd stint in Phoenix, and the (advanced) stats do back that up; although he does play 2nd fiddle a little bit to OEL/Michalek/Klesla with TOI in that area, Morris's GA20, OppSH%, and FenHARD in shorthanded situations last season was the best of the four this season, and 2nd only to Klesla among team defensemen in 2011-2012.
As far as the left-right dynamic, they could also maintain a sense of balance with Michalek, Rundblad and Stone on the right side without Morris. It’s obviously easier to move Klesla as there are no contractual limitations, but Morris agreeing to wave his no trade clause earlier this year opened a Pandora’s Box of sorts. Both have a year left on their deals, and someone has to be moved in exchange for decent depth up front. Given the outpouring for Morris here, it’s understandable if he stayed given his sacrifice to change his playing style to fill a void, but it’s hard to make a case there aren’t more natural fits for that role to ultimately help the team get another step closer to a championship.
Yes, Morris was asked by Maloney to waive his no-trade clause at the deadline, but the fact remains he was not moved - I think talk about opening "Pandora's Box" is hyperbole. In any case, Morris probably won't garner as high of a return as Klesla on the market because of that NTC.
And the right side of our defense is definitely not as deep as the left; Michalek is getting older and has been dealing with some injury issues lately, Stone probably will become a Top 4 blueliner beginning next season but he could regress, and although Rundblad certainly improved his defense in Portland last season, he still looked erratic in his own end in the 8 games he played for the Yotes, and will definitely need to be sheltered. Beyond those 3, Murphy is still a few years off and has yet to stay healthy. In other words, Morris is definitely much more needed for depth than Klesla is.
Last edited by IPreferPi: 07-30-2013 at
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