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Derek Morris joined Phoenix late in the 2003-04 season. ((Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press))

Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney confirmed what was apparent on Saturday night, telling the team's website that veteran Derek Morris will likely be traded.

Morris was not in the lineup on Saturday when the team lost 3-1 to St. Louis. Maloney said both the organization and Morris felt it was the best course of action for a player who could be heading out of town before Wednesday's trade deadline.

Morris, 30, will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. He is earning $3.95 million US this season.

"We couldn’t find a contract both sides could live with," said Maloney. "As an organization, we decided to explore trade opportunities. He is a good player and he has good value and we think we can make a trade that will make us better down the road.

"This is something that has been going on for months and months. Within the last week, it has gotten to a point now where we realize we are not able to do the contract and we have to find a trade."

Morris has been with Phoenix for five years after coming over in a trade with Colorado. He has 76 goals and 256 assists in 775 games, with his career beginning with Calgary in 1997.

The Edmonton native will likely be itching to join a playoff contender. He has played in just seven postseason games in his decade-long NHL career.