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01-04-2014, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by petejudge View Post
People saying John Moore is "terrible" while defending Del Zotto are amazing to me. John Moore is half a year younger than DZ, and being a late 90 means he was drafted a year later. He's a year behind DZ in terms of his development, and while the Rangers in typical fashion ruined Del Zotto by bringing him up too early and not letting him season and learn the professional game.

Too often people on this board and all over the internet in general get too caught up on stats and what other people say. Fact of the matter is Del Zotto was drafted to be a puck-moving offensive defenseman and he doesn't do that well at all. He plays his position very poorly and he's being exposed this year. John Moore statistically this year is pretty much exactly the same as DZ and has better physical tools. Del Zotto will command a higher salary next year than Moore will. If you keep Del Zotto, he'll negotiate for a contract that Rangers fans will be furious with for years to come. If you trade him now, even if you don't get a great return at least you free yourself from a bad situation. Keeping Moore instead, who is I believe on the same level if not better than Del Zotto, gives the team more flexibility going forward. The team won't be good this year, but we can work towards the future NOW by at least getting something for a guy who won't be coming back anyway

By the same token, people that bash Del Zotto while praising John Moore baffle me. They (yourself included in this very post), cling to what they hope the player might become. Yes, Del Zotto will be more expensive than John Moore. Guess what? Sidney Crosby is more expensive than Artem Anisimov too. You don't keep an inferior player just because he's cheaper.

That brings us to why it should be clear that John Moore is the inferior player. His career high is 7 points. 7. Yes, he's even statistically this year with MDZ. Guess which one of those two players has played about 10 more games? Guess which one has been playing the whole season on his comfortable side? Guess which one of those two players has received nothing but praise and near guaranteed minutes from his coach? Moore has enjoyed all of those benefits. He's been no better than a player who has been (unfairly) scratched repeatedly, has been forced to play his off side for about two thirds of the games he HAS played, and has been repeatedly ripped in the media by his coach, even after games that he didn't play in.

You talk about Del Zotto being "exposed." If that's the case, then Girardi, Staal, Stralman, and Moore have been "exposed" right along with him, because McDonagh is literally the only defenseman on this roster who can say that he is having a good season. Hell, he's the only one on the roster who can say that he hasn't regressed significantly from last year (an argument can be made for Strals, but he's had a rough month).

I don't think that Moore "sucks." I DO think that he has been worse than Del Zotto. I DO think that it is inexplicable that Moore, the completely unproven player, gets so much more leash than Del Zotto, who has proven himself as a top 4 defenseman in three of the last four seasons. I think Moore is being hurt by this idiotic man to man system as much as the rest of the defense. Ultimately, I want Moore to stick around. I think in a good system, he can be a phenomenal 3rd pair guy.

What baffles me is why Del Zotto is singled out on a defense that has, as a group, been a train wreck all season. I honestly wonder whether or not AV puts the negative attention on Del Zotto in order to deflect it from where it belongs--himself. His system sucks for these players. He took a top 10 defense and sent it into the garbage. He was brought in to take this team over the hump, and he's driving it towards a re-build. By keeping people talking about Del Zotto, it stops them from talking about how precarious AV's own place with this team should be.

This is a top 4 that has been elite for years. The problem isn't in one (of the 5) defenseman who is (are) having lousy season(s).

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