The Los Angeles Kings recently reached an agreement with Trevor Moore on a two-year contract extension worth $3.75 million. The deal carries a cap hit of $1.875 million per season. Signing him has several positives for both parties, as it benefits both him and the team.
He’s a Hometown Player
The 26-year-old Moore was born in Thousands Oaks, CA. This isn’t just any part of Kings territory in Southern California, as it is located in the northwestern part of Greater Los Angeles. He grew up a fan of the Kings and said to the NHLPA:
“I loved watching the great players on the Kings. I don’t remember a specific game I went to that stands out in my mind. I grew up watching Kopitar, Doughty, Brown and Quick, all those guys. I just remember seeing Kopitar in practice doing that same shootout move he’s done his whole career. You remember those things. Those are the important moments in your hockey life that you remember and make you really fond of the game. It’s where your passion comes from. You sit there in the stands and think about what it would be like to play in the NHL and what it would feel like to play for your home team.”NHLPA
Having a hometown player is usually a treat for both the players and fans alike. Think of the Montreal Canadiens storied history of French-Canadian players, or you can look to LA’s NorCal rival San Jose, whose fan base has embraced and dubbed Matt Nieto “The Long Beach Native.”
Sports fan bases have a history of embracing hometown players, and LA fans have been no different, as many of them have enjoyed Moore’s tenure with the team. Signing him will give the fans a local player to root for and allow him to continue living out his dream of playing for the LA Kings. However, he is also an intangible part of the lineup.
Moore Brings Skill to LA’s Bottom Six
In his first full season with the Kings, Moore impressed fans by bringing skill to the team’s bottom six. Posting a career-high average time on ice (TOI) of 14:32 in 2020-21, he made the most of his opportunities. He emerged as one of the Kings’ key even-strength contributors. He scored seven goals at even-strength (tied for sixth on the team) and dished out 12 assists at even-strength (tied for fourth on the team). Combined, his 19 even-strength points were tied with Gabriel Vilardi for fifth on the Kings. Additionally, Moore nabbed two points apiece on the power play and penalty kill, bringing his season total to 23 points (tied for sixth on the team). Considering his average even-strength, TOI ranked 20th on the team (16th among players who skated in over 10 games) his productivity is quite impressive.
Furthermore, he instantly became one of the Kings’ most dependable penalty killers. His average TOI on the penalty kill was 1:22 per game. For perspective, this ranked third-most among LA’s forward core behind Anze Kopitar and Alex Iafallo. Moore was a staple on the Kings penalty kill unit that killed 83.7% of the power plays they faced. The unit was tied with the New York Islanders with the sixth-best penalty kill percentage in 2020-21. Overall, he was an integral even-strength producer who was pivotal to one of the best penalty kill units in the entire NHL.
Physical play is important in the NHL and Moore has provided this in spades throughout his career. In LA, his physical play has somewhat taken a backseat, as his skill is relied upon in the bottom six. In Toronto, where his physicality was more in demand, he was an extremely aggressive skater. In 71 games played with the Kings, he has thrown 45 hits, equivalent to 0.63 hits per game. This is just over a hit every other game. However, his most physical play was with the Leafs; in 52 games, he dished out 68 hits or 1.3 hits per game.
LA has lost some of its physicality with the departure of Kurtis MacDermid in the Seattle expansion draft. Moore has shown that he played more physically in the past. If he brings increased physicality back into his game, alongside his other teammates who aren’t afraid to hit (e.g., Dustin Brown, Brendan Lemieux, etc.), collaboratively could make up for the hitting MacDermid provided LA.
Overall, the deal Moore and the Kings inked is beneficial to both parties. LA gets to keep an important penalty killer and an even-strength contributor, while Moore gets to continue living out his dream of playing for the Kings. The term and salary are very reasonable, thus this is a great signing that helps solidifies LA’s bottom six for the next two seasons.
I am a lifelong hockey fan who will be covering the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks here at The Hockey Writers. Before joining The Hockey Writers I spent two years blogging about hockey.
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