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Morris Discusses Reaching 1,000th NHL Game

Sunday, 03.25.2012 / 6:53 PM / Features
Arizona Coyotes
EDITOR’S NOTE: Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris is expected to play in his 1,000th NHL game on Sunday vs. St. Louis. In this exclusive Q & A with phoenixcoyotes.com, Morris explains what reaching this milestone will mean to him and more.

Q: Your next game will be your 1,000th NHL game. What will reaching that milestone mean to you?

Morris
A: “I haven’t even thought about it all that much. My kids are excited about it. They think it’s neat to have 1,000 games - for some reason that’s a big number that sticks in their heads. But I really don’t know. I just enjoy playing the game. It’s been fun. It just means that I’ve been around for a really long time and I’ve been very fortunate to be able to play that long and you don’t look past anything... I never set a goal to play a lot of games, but I’m very fortunate I did (play a lot of games) and I’m very thankful.”

Q: Does it feel like you’ve played 1,000 games or 10,000 games or 10 games?

A: “Well, it depends on which day you’re talking about, but today I feel good. When you’re winning games, obviously, you don’t feel as bad as when you’re losing them. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been hard at times. We had some long years here, but it’s been a lot of fun as of late. The years have been flying by and the game has been flying by.”

Q: What has been the key to your longevity? Has your off-season conditioning regimen been a big part of your stamina?

Photo by Getty Images.
A: “Yeah, I think so. I think early in my career I didn’t train the way I was supposed to. I was fortunate when I was young I was in good shape, but I never trained the way I had to and then I think I had a long injury; I had a shoulder injury in Calgary and then I had an ankle injury here. I was drilled at a young age from Brad McCrimmon, a guy who I speak pretty highly of. (He) always told me, “You'd better train a lot harder, you’ve got to train harder,” and I did. I started to realize that longevity was going to hold up and my body was holding up and the bumps and bruises weren’t lasting quite as long.”

Q: Do you have a favorite moment from your first 1,000 games?

A: “I’ve got a lot. Obviously, I think my first playoff game was huge. It was a lot of fun in Colorado. I had a lot of fun there and obviously being here has been one of the biggest things in my life. I’ve enjoyed being in Phoenix. I’ve been fortunate to play here for a long time and it’s a great city and a great group of guys. I don’t think a lot of locker rooms can say that the rooms are as close as ours. Everybody that has come in has always said the same thing - it’s a fun dressing room, we all really, really enjoy each other, and I don’t know if it’s one specific thing, but I’ve been very fortunate. I enjoy playing here.”
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