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.