According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Dominic Moore wants something between $1.65 and $1.8 million per year over three years to stay with the Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers. And right now, the Rangers aren't willing to give their best faceoff man (54.6%) and standout penalty killer from last season that kind of money.
We keep hearing the Rangers aren't going to pay to keep Dominic Moore, which only means they will pay down the road if management squeezes the fourth-line center and prime penalty killer out of New York.
As July 1st approaches it feels more and more like we should be bracing ourselves for the 2014-15 Rangers looking and feeling like a very different team from the team that we fell in love with last season. If sacrifices have to be made to keep key RFAs in the picture and to court a second line center, those sacrifices will almost certainly be coming out of the Rangers bottom six and especially the fourth line. We already saw a precursor of it with the salary-dump trade of Derek Dorsett to the Vancouver Canucks for a 3rd round pick in this year's Draft, and we might see the Rangers end up watching both Brian Boyle and Dominic Moore walk in free agency. In short, the fourth line that so many of us fell in love with and called a great strength of the team is in serious jeopardy of being as good as it was last season and in the 2014 Playoffs.
The biggest cap hit that Dominic Moore has carried in his career is $1.1 million and he is currently 33 years old. I love Dominic Moore and want him to be on this team next season, but paying him $1.8 million a season until he turns 36 seems like a shaky idea at best. Perhaps the Rangers will negotiate him and his agents down to a one or two year deal and find a way to bring him back because with all the uncertainty down the middle in the Rangers lineup, Moore would be a very valuable player to have in the bottom six.
Perhaps it is dramatic and hyperbolic to say that the fourth line is doomed without one of Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle returning to the team next year, especially because we don't know what the Rangers will do on July 1st, but, in my opinion, it's an alarming thought. Dominic Moore was a big part of a lot of the Rangers' best team strengths last season. As Brooks points out, the Rangers will likely have to pay more to a guy to replace Moore and his role down the road if they don't make something work out with the Masterton Trophy Award winner. Bringing back Dominic Moore feels like the right thing to do... but is it the right thing to do for the right reasons? Hockey, as we all know, is a business. As much as we all love Dominic Moore and will never be able to forget his emotional return to the Rangers and all the success he had and helped the team have, might it be time to part ways with the veteran? I really hope not.
So, what do you guys make of this? I know that the vast majority of us want Dominic Moore back but how much is too much for a 33 year old role player? Let me know what you think in the comments.
Let's go Rangers.