August 24, 2011
Is there a difference between an injury-prone player and one that just considers himself unlucky?
It's a nice little investment in a lower-line vet while at the same time being a bit of a gamble, seeing as how Moreau played only 37 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season and a combined 32 with the Edmonton Oilers from 2006-08. In between were two years in which he played 77 and 76 games respectively with the Oilers — so is he fragile or occasionally snake bit?
Moreau told J.P. Hoornstra of Inside The Kings that he's "pissed off" more teams weren't after his services this summer, scared off by his injury history. About that history, Moreau said:
"That's the biggest misconception right now, that my health - it has been just unlucky things," he said. "I've been hit by pucks in the wrong spots. It has nothing to do with age, wearing down. I've never had hip problems, knee problems, concussions. I feel the same way I did when I was 28."
(A bit of semantics on the concussion boast, by the way. Moreau was asked about them by the Columbus Dispatch last season and dodged the question until it was changed to "diagnosed concussions." Then he answered "nope.")
If he's healthy, Moreau can fill the leadership void left by Michal Handzus(notes), contribute as a physical role player and join a core of ex-Oilers (Penner, Stoll, Greene) on the roster. If he's not healthy … well, it's only $600K.
I can't remember the last team to go deep in the playoffs without someone like Moreau pluggin' away on the fourth line, changing their Depends at intermissions. Don't have high expectations for this guy. He's making barely above league minimum for a reason and no one would likely have blamed him if he had retired this offseason. But Moreau is a fighter, a tough cookie who gives it all he's got, even if what's he's got is much less than what he had.
Technically, Moreau's correct that his injuries aren't from wear and tear or miles on the tires. Personally, "unlucky things" tend to keep happening to players who suffer unfortunate injuries. Or are we the only ones waiting to see what bizarre twist of fate will befall Sami Salo(notes) and/or Kevin Bieksa(notes) this season.