Follow me on Twitter @ToddCordell
Ray Shero has to make decisions on 10 pending free agents (six unrestricted, four restricted) this off-season.
Arguably the most notable is John Moore.
The 27-year-old is a strong skater and played big minutes (20:01 per game) for the best New Jersey Devils team since 2011-12. While on the surface it'd make sense to re-sign him, I think a better case could be made against it.
Moore has spent three seasons with the Devils. During that time, they've been consistently worse with him on the ice than without.
Moore has made a negative impact on the Devils' expected goal numbers, which are based upon shot numbers and location, three years running.
He's done the same to their Corsi in two of three years with the team. The one exception came this past season.
Some may suggest he's starting to figure it out. I disagree with that. I think his spike in possession numbers were a result of a) pairing primarily with Damon Severson and; b) sharing the ice with Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, and Kyle Palmieri more than any other forwards on the roster.
Over the last three years, 11 different defenders have logged at least 900 5v5 minutes for the Devils.
Among them, Moore ranks 7th in CF%, 10th in xGF%, and 11th in penalty differential. The Devils haven't exactly had a who's who of quality NHL defensemen so it's discouraging to see him slot so low across the board.
He's not a great penalty killer, he's not a power play quarterback, he's not a possession driver, and he doesn't bring a ton of offense to the table. Giving him a healthy raise from the $1.66M he was making seems like a bad idea.
Changes need to be made on defense and I think replacing Moore would be a good place to start.
Devils Q&A on chasing free agents, the goaltending situation, and more
On a potential draft target at 17 and Keith Kinkaid
Taylor Hall named a finalist for Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award
Devils expected to sign Yegor Yakovlev
Notes on quotes from Ray Shero and John Hynes
New Jersey Devils 2017-18 season awards