Going into the offseason, it was anticipated that the Boston Bruins would upgrade their roster for a potential Stanley Cup run by acquiring a top six forward and top four defenseman. Today, one of those needs was successfully filled via free agency.
Unfortunately, the Bruins did not win the John Tavares sweepstakes, with the star forward agreeing to a huge contract with the division rival Toronto Maple Leafs. However, they did acquire arguably the top defender in a very weak free agent class in John Moore.
Moore, 28 in November, has reportedly agreed to a five year deal with Boston, with an average annual value of $2.75 million per season. On the surface, this looks like a good move with Boston acquiring a big defender (6’3″, 210 lbs) to shore up the left side of their blue line; however, as a Devils fan who has watched Moore very closely over the past three seasons, I’m not the biggest fan of this move for the Bruins.
Let’s begin with the positives about John Moore. For a big guy, he is a very good skater who can lead rushes up the ice. He has a nice shot and is always capable of chipping in offensively. With his size, he is not easy to body off the puck and can lay the big hit whenever he needs to. His biggest calling card however, is his ability to score game-winning goals in the 3-on-3 overtime.
Trust me when I say that John Moore is a guy that you want on the ice for overtime. However, there are some huge holes in his game as well. Moore tends to struggle and get pinned in his own end very frequently, and he often has difficulty with defensive zone exits. The biggest con in his game is his decision-making. Devil fans will tell you of all the times that Moore made a terrible pass or pinched when he shouldn’t have. If he doesn’t have a good defensive partner, the holes in his game will be exposed frequently.
Overall, Bruins fans should be cautious, but optimistic about the signing of John Moore. He is a solid defender who can eat up reasonable minutes, but he should be paired with the right partner and used in the right situations. Given his age and the AAV, this contract is very reasonable and he should be a second or third-pairing guy in Boston throughout the duration of this deal.
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