The Boston Bruins, who took a low-risk gamble on him last year with a 1 year, $900,000 contract, were impressed with his 11 goal, 25 point season, and were interested in bringing him back to the Bruins, but unfortunately for Don Sweeney and co., they came up short, even though they reportedly offered him a similar deal to the one he signed with the Leafs.
“For me, all things considered, this was a no-brainer,” Moore had said to Sportsnet while promoting his Smashfest ping-pong tournament, “Not just because it’s home. More so because it’s a great opportunity to join a great team. I’m happy with how things played out.”
Moore seemed to be attracted to the Leafs young core, as well as the way the team approaches the game with their speed, to the level that most teams can’t catch up with them. The team was enticing enough that Moore had decided to leave the Bruins for them, despite the Bruins finishing ahead of them in the standings (albeit only because of three more ROWs).
And it’s starting to become a decision that Moore needs to make carefully these days. After all, he’ll be turning 37 in August, and despite playing for 10 different teams, and making 12 different team changes, Moore has yet to win a Cup. He was close back in the 2013-14 season, when he went to the Stanley Cup Finals with the New York Rangers before losing in five games to the Los Angeles Kings.Embed from Getty Images
So, it looks like yet again that players are viewing the Leafs as a place to win. While Dominic Moore is no Patrick Marleau (in fact, since the start of the millennium, Marleau has only had one season with a point total below Moore’s career high of 45 points, that being the 2001-02 season where he had 44 points), the point still applies. The Leafs are now a team that players see as a team that can win now.
Whether it’s Patrick Marleau turning down a better offer from the Oilers or an offer from his longtime team in San Jose, or it’s Dominic Moore turning down an offer from a Bruins team that some may view as a better team, veterans who are in the twilight of their career and are still looking for a Cup see this team on the rise as their last chance to win it all.
Maybe these are gambles that won’t pay off. After all, the best team rarely wins the Cup. The Washington Capitals over the last ten years are proof of this. The Leafs could very well be a dominant force in the regular season, only to see them drop out of the playoffs earlier than expected year after year. But, if you don’t know who’s going to win for sure, you might as well go with the best team as your safest bet.
Regardless, the Leafs are an attractive destination again. Whether this means we get Dominic Moore’s, Patrick Marleau’s, or even John Tavares’, the big picture is that the Leafs look like a place to win, and whether or not that may be true now, the addition of good free agents will only benefit of it. The Leafs will never build a Golden State Warriors super team through free agency, but it’s not bad when good players want to be the team’s spare parts.
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