John Moore Not Rethinking Decision To Sign With Bruins, Despite Reduced Role

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February 8, 2020

BOSTON — In some ways, it’s a good thing for the Boston Bruins that they find themselves healthy scratching John Moore.

The 29-year-old could be an everyday third-pairing defenseman on most NHL teams, maybe second pairing on some others. But due to the depth the Bruins have on the blue line, Moore has teetered between the sixth and seventh defenseman role for much of his time in Boston.

Lately he has been No. 7, not dressing for the last five games after getting benched during a Jan. 19 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins due to lackluster play. But with Brandon Carlo out due to a family matter, Moore will return to the lineup Saturday afternoon with the Arizona Coyotes in town. When Carlo returns, it’s unclear if head coach Bruce Cassidy believes Moore has out-played Jeremy Lauzon and can return to playing regularly, or if he’ll return to spectating games until further notice.

It’s not an ideal situation, and perhaps Moore wouldn’t find himself in this spot had he signed elsewhere prior to the 2018-19 season, when he inked a five-year, $13.75 million deal to come to Boston.

Moore was asked point blank Saturday afternoon if his diminished role has made him rethink his decision to sign with the Bruins.

“Absolutely not,” Moore responded.

Although Moore has become an extra defenseman lately, past history doesn’t show it’s due to a lack of trust from Cassidy. With Moore gutting out a shoulder injury during the 2019 postseason that effectively left him playing with one good arm, Cassidy still willingly put him in over Connor Clifton in meaningful games, chiefly late in the Stanley Cup Final.

But even when he’s not getting the call, Moore manages to keep perspective.

“Well you want to play, and I think you’ve got to separate yourself from the team,” Moore said. “The team has been winning and I’ve said all along in my time here it’s not about me, it’s about the team. So, how do I add value? I approach every practice like a game and I get an opportunity here to compete (Saturday) and I’m excited about that.”

Between the All-Star break and string of healthy scratches, it’s been nearly three weeks since Moore last played in a game. He’s not sweating the layoff.

“I’m a professional,” Moore said. “I’ve been doing this a long time. I pride myself on my preparation and I’m rested and ready to go.”

Puck drop for Bruins-Coyotes is set for 3 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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