There are some warning signs in the career of Ethan Moreau. He turns 33 in September and has always played a spirited, rambunctious style.
On October 6, 2006 Moreau was re-signed for 4 years by the Edmonton Oilers. It was a long contract for a role player and the money was an overpay, but the loyal soldier was being rewarded (as were many others not named Ryan Smyth) for service over a long period and his leadership role on the team that went all the way to G7 SCF.
Moreau was actually a pretty good bet in terms of health: he played in 313 of 328 (95.4%) NHL games in the four regular seasons previous to his signing the long term deal. Since signing the contract, Moreau has played in 32 of 164 games (19.5%) and has missed so much time in the last two seasons it’s an open question as to what the Oilers will get this season.
Moreau has been a go-to guy on the PK for several seasons. Here’s the breakdown in the three seasons 2005-08:
- EVs: 15:58, 10:55, 12:10
- PP: 0:50, 0:18, 0:55
- PK: 3:19, 3:53, 2:48
The Oilers could use 80 games from Moreau to help the penalty killing, help the kids find their way and push some of the youngsters down the depth chart. Can they count on him? Moreau is obviously in outstanding condition and this two-season blip may be just that when we look back on his career. Based on the past two seasons, a “Plan B” might be a good idea.
Prediction for 08-09: 50gp, 10-7-17 (.340 per game).