The biggest road block Ethan Moreau had in being able to join the Los Angeles Kings was cleared yesterday when he passed his physical. After all the health problems Moreau had last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets (he played in just 37 games), getting cleared to participate at all and make sure there were no lingering issues was necessary for the Kings.
Today, the Kings finalized their one-year deal with Moreau to bring him on board as a grind line winger. It was just over the weekend that Moreau had a verbal commitment set with the team pending medical clearance and now that he’s got that, he’ll likely start the season as the Kings fourth line winger. There he’ll potentially line up with the likes of Trevor Lewis, Kevin Westgarth, or Andrei Loktionov.
At age 36 when the season starts, Moreau is certainly on the backside of his career. He’s gone from being a rugged goal contributor with Chicago and Edmonton, even suiting up as captain of the Oilers from 2007-2010, to being a guy that chews up time on the third and fourth lines as a physical player. He’s perpetually been a 15 minutes per game player, but now with his abilities diminished he’ll be a 10-12 minutes a game type of player, if that much. GM Dean Lombardi and coach Terry Murray are hoping he’ll help add to the veteran experience and give the lineup another former Oiler and a guy hungry to win the Stanley Cup.
Given the Kings’ other options potentially available out of Manchester in the AHL, Moreau gives them a guy they know for sure what they’ll get from him. He also gives their third line a bit more insurance as they’ll likely have Scott Parse penciled in there to start the year. Parse spent most of last season out of the lineup with varying injuries. If they can get positive work out of Moreau it’s a good, veteran pickup for the Kings. If he spends the year dinged up with injuries or with poor production, they’ll have to hope he can provide leadership otherwise.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.