The NHL’s first buyout window opened today (September 25th), and we’ve already seen Bobby Ryan get bought out by the Ottawa Senators. There’s been a lot of talk about how the Bruins are going to shake up the roster this offseason, so with the buyout window opening, I decided to take a look at whether or not they had any good buyout candidates on their roster currently. The only player on the roster who sticks out as a potential candidate (because no, Nick Ritchie is not one, as bad as he was) is defenseman John Moore. So, let’s take a look at the case to buy him out.
But First, Here’s a Quick Overview of Moore
John Moore came to Boston as a free agent back on July 1st, 2018. He’s on the books for $2.75 million for the next three seasons. In his two seasons in Boston so far, he has failed to stick in the lineup long-term. He has 16 points in 85 games split between the two seasons but generally tends to do more harm than good when playing. He just doesn’t fit into their systems well. So, all that considered, on paper at least he looks like a good buyout candidate. However, if you dig into it a little more, you can see that it might not be the best option.
What Would a Moore Buyout Actually Look Like?
As you can see from the photo above (click on it to expand it), if the Bruins buyout John Moore, he’ll be on the books for the next six seasons. That’s obviously far from ideal. Looking at the money side of things, for the first and third seasons, the Bruins would save just under $1.5 million. Then, for the other four season, he’ll only count for just over $800,000 of the salary cap. You can read about how those numbers came about here, as it’d take me too long to explain them and would distract from the point. Moving on, those savings are certainly better than nothing. I’d much rather pay a player that much than the full $2.75 million not to play. However, the Bruins have a few other options that are much better than a buyout in my opinion.
Waiving Him Might Be the Best Option
All things considered, I believe waiving Moore is the best option. Why do I say this? Well, trading him presents a logistical challenge, as it’s a salary dump. The Bruins will have to give up something to entice teams to take Moore or retain salary, and they won’t get much at all in return. That would really sting, especially considering the fact that they just retained salary and gave up their 2020 first-round pick in the David Backes cap dump this past season.
However, if they waive Moore, any team can pick him up for free, and his entire salary would come off the books for the Bruins. Obviously, it isn’t ideal to lose players for nothing. But, they aren’t going to get much back for him from a trade, and the fact that they’ll have to give up something else of value makes it not worth it.
Would Anyone Take the Chance on Moore Though?
The only problem with waiving him is another team may not pick him up. His contract is ugly, hence why the Bruins want to get rid of him. But, I have a hard time believing that no one will take a chance on him despite his flaws. In particular, I can see a rebuilding team that needs to get to the cap floor like Ottawa and Detroit take a chance by picking him up. Moore is a veteran player and is a good guy to have in the locker room, so he would be a worthwhile pickup for young teams like them that need guys like that. Plus, they have to spend the money somewhere, so why not give Moore a shot? So, while there’s no guarantee anyone would pick him up, I feel like there’s a good chance someone would.
Even if someone doesn’t pick him up, the Bruins would just send him to the AHL. That would save them $1.075 million on the cap. Clearly, that’s not as much as a buyout would. But, I don’t think that it’s so much less that it’s worth having him on the books for three extra seasons. If they just bury him in the minors, he’ll still come off the books in three seasons if they can’t trade him before then. But, if he gets bought out, he’ll stay on the books for six seasons no matter what, which could hurt them in the future even though he won’t have a high cap hit.
So, all things considered, I don’t think that buying out John Moore is the best option for the Bruins. They’d be much better off waiving him and hoping someone picks him up. A trade’s also an option obviously, but unless they can somehow get rid of him without having to retain salary or give up something valuable to sweeten the deal, I think waiving him is the better choice. Even though they won’t get anything in return, they wouldn’t get much from a trade anyway, and it makes it so they don’t have to give up something valuable just to shed salary or retain any of it. Plus, even if someone doesn’t pick him up, they’d still have the option to trade him even if he’s buried in the minors. It’d be less likely, but it’d still be possible.
So, I think the Bruins should try waiving Moore first. It just seems like the most logical thing to do. I have faith Sweeney will do something, as he has to realize they can’t keep paying more $2.75 million to do nothing. Hopefully, he does what’s best for the team now and in the future and not just what’s easiest, and I’m confident that he will. But, obviously, I don’t have a say or make the decisions. So, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the coming weeks.
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)
Featured image courtesy of James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports
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