Ray Shero has been on fire for the most part. He parlayed PTO-signee Lee Stempniak into 2nd-round and 4th-round draft picks with a brief stop at team points-leader. He yanked new point-leader Kyle Palmieri away from a Ducks team that buried him under their uber-talented forward crop. David Schlemko was a 1-year six-figure free agent acquisition who has been, by most accounts, our 3rd best defender this year. He may have even done it again with Devante Smith-Pelly.
But there have been other moves. Those other moves deserve critique as well, but not necessarily as positively. John Moore looked like one of the more encouraging signings actually. In fact, if you sifted through all of the moves I just mentioned in the previous paragraph, before the season I would have said that the John Moore signing was the most sound decision. A calculated risk on a 25-year-old NHL defender was definitely worth it.
How has he been so far?
The goals, assists and time on ice are all actually career highs. So in that way it is tough to knock Shero for the move. Moore has been as good as anyone should have expected on the shallow sheets. But what if we dig a litle deeper? Below is a graph of one of my favorite stats, SCF%Rel -- Relative Scoring Chance percentage. It indicates the change in proportion of scoring chances the team experiences when that player is on the ice.
According to this graph, this season has been his worst as far as on-ice scoring chance ratio. It's tough to put a good spin on plummets like that. Even with that recent uptick, he's at career lows.
But what does that mean for his standing on this team? Is he deserving of the top 4 minutes he's being given. He's been on the ice more than anyone not named Greene and Larsson. That is a lot of responsibility. Has he carved out a spot for himself on this teams roster for the future. He's going to be battling with young encouraging defenders in our pipeline as well as Damon Severson -- not to mention co-top-4 defender, David Schlemko. Let's look at the HERO charts for comparison.
As indicated by the analyses above, the shallow stats for John Moore in his time in the NHL since 2013 have been very encouraging. However, the gritty possession stats in which good defenders should thrive are not going well for him. He also doesn't compare well with Severson. Even new-guy David Warsofsky holds up decently with the likes of Moore.
So we've got Moore through this year and the next two. If our brass has assessed him to be a top 4 defender worthy towards the top of the roster in minutes, then his $1-2 million salary is a bargain. However, his performance this year has done nothing to dissuade fans from expecting more moves and occasional sightings of our upcoming youngsters like Santini and Jacobs.
What have you thought so far? Do you like John Moore for our team moving forward? Do you think he is a trade piece in the not-too-distant future? Could we keep him but not in the top 4? Do you think he's better than some of these stats indicate? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.