Countdown to Bruins training camp: John Moore

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From now until the beginning of training camp, Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2018-19 Bruins. Today: John Moore.
 
Arguably the most interesting move the Bruins made during this season was the five-year, $13.75 million commitment to 27-year-old defenseman John Moore, putting him in Boston's long-term plans. Moore really found his NHL niche in the last three seasons with the Devils, where the former first-round pick blossomed into the kind of frontline, top-4 defenseman he was projected to be when he was selected by the Blue Jackets in 2009. It remains to be seen where he’ll actually fit in with a Bruins group that will have eight NHL D-men at the start of camp, but Moore is here for a while.  

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 What Happened Last Year: Moore had a strong wire-to-wire campaign with 7 goals and 18 points while suiting up for 81 of 82 games, and was a solid player for the Devils in their first-round playoff series against the Lightning. He was a top-four defenseman in New Jersey, as his average of 20:01 of ice time per game indicates, and the decent offensive numbers -- combined with his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame -- make Moore exactly the kind of D-man Boston has been looking for on the left side. One season ago Moore had 12 goals and 22 points in just 63 games, so his offense took a slight slide back, but the 10 goals and 20 points he’s averaged over the last two years would be the kind of production that Boston would gladly take in his first season with the B’s. 
 
Questions To Be Answered This Season: Clearly, the Bruins needed another top-4 defenseman on the left side, given that Zdeno Chara will turn 42 this season and Boston's other options are smaller (Torey Krug and Matt Grzelcyk).  Adding Moore to the mix creates a bit of a logjam. Will the Bruins make a trade in training camp or early in the regular season, or will they find a way to work Moore into the group by rotating players through the lineup? Another interesting question is whether or not Moore’s hit the ceiling for his abilities, or if the Bruins have given a reasonable contract for a player still elevating his game after cementing his NHL reputation in New Jersey. It will certainly be interesting to watch for this season and beyond.
 
In Their Words: “It’s the skating component with John’s game. He’s a bigger player . . . I just think, the makeup of our group, we felt that the opportunity to add a player of that nature [fits] into how Bruce [Cassidy] wants to play: [Moore gets] back to retrieve pucks [and is] able to defend with his feet against faster, bigger, stronger players, [which] complements the group we have. [The defense corps] may seem congested as we sit today, but . . . this is a unique time of the year where you’re able to put players on your roster that you think can fill needs, and that’s what we did.” –Bruins GM Don Sweeney, on what attracted the Bruins to John Moore on the first day of free agency.  
 
Overall Outlook: As with any new player to the Bruins system, it remains to be seen how Moore will fit in with the pairings and handle his special teams’ responsibilities. But it's going to be interesting to see what Cassidy and assistant coach Kevin Dean, who have developed a number of other defensemen of Moore's size and pedigree over the years, can do with Moore. Conventional wisdom says he's the kind of player who could really take things to another level with the Bruins, but we'll see how it plays out.

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