A Steady Growth of Moss
When talking about players who were drafted in the 7th Round of an NHL draft, not many players really stick out at you. Sure, there are the Henrik Zetterberg’s(7th Round in 1999) or Pavel Datsyuk’s(6th Round in 1998) of the world, but for the most part the best a late-rounder will be is a third line grinder or bottom tier defenceman.
Enter David Moss, drafted #220 overall in the 7th round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
The 6 foot, 200 pound right wing caught on with the Flames in 2006 scoring 10 goals in 41 games after being called up midway through the season. He broke out right away scoring the game-winner in his first game and potting goals in his first three games as a pro. Following that, he had his breakout season in 08-09 eclipsing the 20 goal plateau and nearly breaking the 40 point mark, falling one shy.
Moss is now entering his 5th season with the Flames, and he is one of many Flames who are feeling the heat this season to rebound from a poor campaign in 2009-2010. He only played 64 games last season due to injury and only recorded 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) during that time. The question that everyone is wondering about Moss is this: Is he a 20 goal scorer or a guy who scored 20 goals? The difference is palpable; one player is a legitimate scoring threat while the other is the next Cheechoo.
Moss flanks the right side for the Flames as he realistically only sits behind #12 on the depth chart of right wingers; assuming nobody moves from center to the wing or wing to wing. That’s a pretty massive drop off in right wingers if you ask me. I have nothing against Moss as I think he is a serviceable player, but he fits the mould of so many other Flames players that it becomes difficult to differentiate what Moss can really bring to the team, that others like him cannot.
Here in lies the problem I have with this team. The Flames have too many 2nd-3rd line grinders/checkers/occasional scorers that they have become bogged down with mediocrity. Mediocrity doesn’t win championships, it wins you first round exits and an infinite number of repetitive questions.
Moss did have one highlight last year and that was being picked to represent Team USA at the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championships. Unfortunately for Dave, the team had one of their worst tournaments ever, losing all three round robin games, before avoiding total embarrassment and winning the relegation round robin against such International Powerhouses as Kazakhstan, Italy, and France. Hopefully the experience served him well and he came back with a little more confidence, even if the team barely beat Borat and friends.
Another thing Moss does have going for him is that he relatively cheap, at $1.3 million per season, compared to some of the other plugs on this team. There we see it again though; a player signs a new contract and consequently falls out of favour with the puck and the net.
Moss, like Jay Bouwmeester, is going into his second year of a new contract. Hopefully the pressure to perform is off now and Moss can return to the form that made him the money in the first place.