The Colorado Avalanche got a favorable term by offering big money to Ian Cole, while the Boston Bruins took the polar opposite approach to their signing of John Moore. The Bruins got Moore for an average of $2.75 million per year and were willing to commit to him for five years. You either pay in money or term and the Bruins chose term.
In the short-term, the signing creates a glut on the Boston blueline. Even before they signed Moore, the Bruins had seven NHL defensemen under contract – Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller and Matt Grzelcyk – and a couple more on the way. So there will have to be at least one move made before the season starts. It appears that GM Don Sweeney’s off-season is far from over, since he’ll have to figure out what to do with his overabundance of defensemen.
By getting Moore, the Bruins get a left defender whose hallmarks are foot speed and an ability to make a good first pass. Moore can produce a modicum of offense and give them some depth on their third pairing. At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, it also gives the Bruins some size on the left side beyond the gargantuan Zdeno Chara, who will likely be on a series of one-year deals for the rest of his career.
After years of going through a bit of salary cap hell, the Bruins are finally finding some breathing room and they weren’t about to relinquish it doing big-money deals with depth players, which is likely why they were willing to give Moore the term they did. He gets the security of a five-year deal and the Bruins get a player who is only 27 and will be an easy contract from which to extricate themselves if it does not look in the last year or two. And if they can’t the salary cap hit is not an outrageous one.
And it’s important to note that Moore has posted by far his best offensive totals in each of the past three seasons with the New Jersey Devils. He has played only full seven seasons in the league, but is now on his fifth organization. But in many senses, Moore is a classic defenseman in that it takes them a couple hundred games in the league to truly find their footing. The Bruins are counting on that being the case and being able to contribute at a pretty reasonable cap hit for the next five season.