The Dallas Stars acquired veteran winger Travis Moen on Tuesday after trading Sergei Gonchar to the Montreal Canadiens, and now we get to take a look at the newest member of the bottom six for the Stars.
Drafted in the 5th round in 2000 by the Calgary Flames, Moen eventually signed with Blackhawks as a free agent in 2002 and made his NHL debut with Chicago the following season. After bouncing around the league a bit, Moen landed in Montreal as an unrestricted free agent in 2009 and eventually signed a four-year contract with the Habs in 2012.
Moen has never scored more than 21 points in the NHL and his goal total has only once been out of the single digits during his career. The feisty winger will never be known as a speedster or a player who will put up any sort of offense, but he has created a role for himself as a superior defensive forward who excels on the penalty kill -- something the Stars are desperately needing.
The Stars acquired Moen not just as the price to give up Gonchar, but as a player who can help square up a very leaky penalty kill for Dallas and also provide some solid play and leadership in the defensive zone. He'll likely never get much more than fourth line minutes but will certainly be used extensively on the PK when he does play.
I reached out to Andrew Berkshire of Habs Eyes on the Prize, who provided some quick insight into the newest Stars forward:
Moen is only 32, but he has played a remarkably physical game and it has taken its toll. He's suffered multiple concussions recently, and to add to the lingering effects of those, his foot speed has abandoned him with age. At even strength, the best case scenario you can hope for with Moen is that he will limit goals against in high pressure situations, which he will, he's pretty solid defensively. However he plays a lot in the defensive zone because what he's good at defensively are things like getting in passing lanes, blocking shots, and boxing guys out. When it comes to the puck being on Moen's stick, he leaves a lot to be desired to say the least.
Offense will not be created with Moen on the ice, he's a drag there big time, but he can kill penalties with the best of them, even with his foot speed fading. He used to be able to gust up into the top 9 forward spots occassionally, chipping in a few goals here and there and shutting down the opposition, but he just can't do that anymore. He's a 4th line grinder who you have to hope doesn't get scored on much, because he won't produce any offense.
The Stars couldn't expect much for asking a team to eat over 90% of Gonchar's salary, but Moen will at the very least be a decent role player for Dallas who can fill in as needed on the bottom six.
Moen will wear #27.