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2010 NHL Free Agency: Derek Morris signs four-year, $11M contract with Coyotes

How, exactly, does Derek Morris keep making so much money? The Boston Bruins gave him a one year, $3.3 million deal last year and now the Phoenix Coyotes signed him to a ridiculous four-year, $11 million deal according to HNIC’s Jeff Marek.

That’s about $2.75 million per year for the 31-year-old defenseman who can bring a mixture of offense and hitting to the table. He generally finishes in the mid-20s each season, points-wise.

The problem is that a) that’s really a pretty average total once you get past the league’s most average players and b) he’s often very faulty in his own zone. Morris has a knack for turning over the puck at the worst possible times and rarely shows signs of being a lockdown defenseman.

Honestly, would you rather spend $20 million for five years of superior work from Zbynek Michalek or $11 million for four years of lukewarm results from Derek Morris? Perhaps Michalek simply preferred the idea of playing for a contender in Pittsburgh, too, but if the Coyotes had a chance to make the former deal, then they must have some regrets.