The Boston Bruins shelled out a five-year contract for defender John Moore last year shortly after free agency opened up. The B’s entered training camp with eight NHL defenders, and eventually traded Adam McQuaid to the Rangers in training camp to open up both cap space and a roster spot.
Moore has only appeared in eight playoff games with the Bruins this spring, and has been passed by a few of Boston’s younger defenders. At a reasonable $2,750,000 cap hit, could Moore be a target for the Oilers on the backend of their defensive depth chart?
Why Is He Out There?:
Moore was signed with the expectation that he would slide in as Boston’s fourth or fifth defender. The club had Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara in their top-four, with Brandon Carlo a question mark at this time last season.
Carlo emerged for Boston as a steady top-four option, while AHL’er Connor Clifton has stepped up and been a big part of the Bruins’ blueline this postseason. With Kevan Miller expected back in the fold next season, there simply might not be enough room for Moore.
He’s too expensive to be an extra defender, and with a few big decisions coming this summer Boston might want the extra cap space to lock up guys like McAvoy and Carlo.
What Does He Do Well?:
Moore is a nice blend of ‘old-school’ and ‘new-school’. I don’t think he’s great at any one thing, but he’s a very serviceable third-pairing defender that can also be a big part of a leadership group. He’s a tough player and is willing to do the little things, which makes coaches love him.
Offensively, Moore posted boxcars of 4-9-13 in 61 games this past season. He averaged 18:46 per game while playing a depth role in Boston, and helped out on the penalty kill. He was used sparingly on the powerplay, and did score twice on the man advantage.
As for his possession numbers, Moore was sub 50% when it came to Corsi For at five-on-five. He posted a 49.7% mark on a Boston team that was very good five-on-five during the regular season. He was a major drag on possession, with a -5% Corsi Rel. It was the fourth time in five years that Moore was a negative possession player relative to his teammates.
That’s a bad sign.
Here’s a look at Moore’s scouting report via The Sports Forecaster.
Where Should He Play / Where Will He Play?:
Moore is pretty surrounded as a third-pairing defender at even strength who can also chip in on both the powerplay and the penalty kill. He’s a left-shot defender, and would be behind Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Andrej Sekera on the depth chart.
If Edmonton were to move Sekera for cap relief, Moore would end up playing a third-pairing role.
What Will He Cost?:
I think, at this point, the Bruins would be comfortable moving Moore simply for salary relief. He’s been a bit piece throughout the playoffs, and has only entered the lineup because of injury. He’s struggled at times, and I don’t think he’s a great fit for Bruce Cassidy’s squad.
I could see Boston moving Moore for a similarly priced forward if they want to make a hockey trade. Perhaps Zack Kassian? After all, the B’s are likely to lose Marcus Johansson this summer. I wouldn’t make that move if I were Edmonton.
Moore is likely moved for a mid-round pick, with cap space being the asset Boston covets.
Moore is a solid idea to have in your back pocket. If Ken Holland really wants to get creative this summer, he could move both Kris Russell and Andrej Sekera and really open up cap space. In the event he does that, a cheap trade option like Moore could be a nice fill-in for the next few seasons.
He’s a decently priced 4/5 defender that can help young guys like Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear transition from the AHL to the NHL. If Edmonton is serious about making cap space, there are worse options to pursue than Moore to plug the holes.
Barring that? Moore probably isn’t a good bet to end up in Edmonton. Sekera is the better player and Holland really respects and values him.