In a conference call to confirm the Boston Bruins’ signing of free agent defenseman Derek Morris to a one-year deal today, general manager Peter Chiarelli assessed his new-look defense corps this way:
“I feel we’ve upgraded it to the tune of a little more mobile, when you talk about Andrew (Ference) and Matt Hunwick in the mix. And the physical responsibilities that we might have lost (with the departure of Aaron Ward and Shane Hnidy), Derek’s a tremendous competitor, he can handle those things. (Mark Stuart’s) going to handle those things. And, of course, we’ve got Zdeno (Chara) there. So I don’t feel that we’ve lost any of that when we made these changes.”
Chiarelli also talked about what he likes about the 6-foot, 221-pound 30-year-old.
“He’s got what I like to call a nice thick body and he uses it very well when he plays. That’s one of the reasons why he’s been very durable,” said Chiarelli about the player he said he began to pursue July 1 and even brought into Boston for an interview with the front office and coaching staffs. “I think you’ve seen the tip of the iceberg a little bit with Derek the last couple years because he does have a very good skill set, he does see the ice very well and he can really make a nice pass, spot an opening and he’s got a tremendous shot. But the thing that we really like about him too is his compete level.”