Kings Must Move Trevor Moore Out of the Lineup

Los Angeles Kings are struggling lately, going 1-6-2 after their seven-game winning streak. This leaves them sixth in the Pacific Division, and quickly falls away from any playoff hopes. The team’sThe biggest problem so far was finishingThe team is currently at sixth place in the league for goals for over expected. They have seven goals less than expected. Trevor Moore should be moved down in the lineup. After a strong season in 2020-21Signature of a contract extensionIn the offseason, he struggled to reproduce his play this year.

Moore’s Season So Far

Moore was originally expected to begin the season on the fourth-line, but was quickly moved up the lineup after Lias andersson was injured. After Gabe Vilardi’s and Vladimir Tkachev’s failures, he was able to keep that spot. Moore leads the pack in finishing. Moore has one goal, one assist and 22 games. HisFour goals less than expected His 2.3 shooting percentage, which is the lowest among forwards who have played more than 10 games, is also the lowest. He’s also posting less than stellar possession numbers, something he has struggled with throughout his career, hovering at right about 50 percent for both Corsi and Fenwick for ratings. He’s been a black hole offensively so far and should move down the lineup in favor of someone else.

Trevor Moore, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers

Now, it hasn’t been all bad for Moore this season. He’s still provided some value to the team this season. He’s been one of their best transition players and is the team’s most effective player at recovering dump-ins. He’s also still posted solid defensive numbers and has been one of the team’s best penalty killers. His contributions away from the scoreboard should be enough to keep him in the lineup, specifically his ability on the penalty kill, considering the team’s issues in that department. To add more offense to this Kings’ lineup, he should be moved to the fourth line.

Moore’s replacement?

So, the question is: Who will replace Moore in the lineup? The team has several options: some are on the roster, and others are currently playing in Ontario.

Arthur Kaliyev

It is possible to swap Moore for Arthur Kaliyev, and move Kaliyev back to the third line where he began the season. His 200-foot game was a concern at first. However, he has been a tremendous player and has posted strong defensive metrics this year. If you’re trying to add goals, moving your best shooter into a more elevated role is often a good idea.

Related: Kings Check-In: Kopitar, Quick, & Poor Finishes

Kaliyev is now looking for linemates. While his defensive numbers are solid, he’s still a subpar skater, meaning you have to be careful who you put on his line, as you don’t want two poor skaters on the same line. I think reuniting him with Rasmus Kupari could help both players, as I thought they looked good together earlier in the season, with Kupari having good enough skating to help cover some of Kaliyev’s deficiencies. It’s then down to finding a third player for this line, something I won’t go too in-depth on because the makeup of this line could be an article of its own. A natural playmaker would be a great fit on this line, and there might be a perfect fit in a player I’ll get to later.

Martin Frk

Martin Frk managed 17 games in the 2019-20 season. This stretch made it seem so far ago that most people considered him a lock for 2020-21. He was injured and only played 15 games last season. This meant that he could not regain a spot on this summer’s roster. Moore was an important factor in Frk’s removal from the roster. Most people view him as a player who excelled in the position Frk left. As the team searches desperately for goals, it might be time to give Moore another shot.

Martin Frk LA Kings
Martin Frk, Los Angeles Kings. (Photo by Rob Curtis/Icon Sportwire via Getty Images).

Frk’s having a great season in the American Hockey League (AHL), as he’s third in the league for points and tied for second in goals. While his ability to produce at AHL level is unquestioned, it’s not a given that he can play an effective and complete NHL game. He doesn’t have the 200-foot prowess that Moore possesses, but if you need goals, he can provide them. He’s also a power play specialist. The Kings’ power play is in desperate need of help, and Frk could provide it. I think he’s the least likely player to be called up, not without reason, but he should be considered for this spot.

Vladimir Tkachev

The Kings signed Vladimir Tkachev, a Russian forward from the KHL, during the offseason. They hoped that he would add high-end skills to their roster. After a promising preseason, things looked good but he was sent to the AHL after only four games. Since joining the Reign, he’s grabbed 11 points, 10 assists, and one goal, impressing during his time with Ontario. Now might be the right time to call back the skilled forward, as the team desperately needs some offense. Tkachev, as I mentioned in my discussion of Kaliyev’s potential playmaker role, could be a great fit for the young sharpshooter.

There are still concerns regarding his 200-foot game. However, the Kings must do more to increase their offense. Perhaps adding someone with his talent could be the answer. Tkachev, just like Frk is a power-play specialist. This is an area where the team desperately needs help. Considering his European reassignment clause, Tkachev’s time with the organization might be Coming to an early end if he can’t make the team soon.

Alex Turcotte

The fifth overall pick in 2019, Alex Turcotte is another great candidate to take Moore’s spot on the third line. He’s put together a solid campaign so far, grabbing 10 points in 16 games so far while also being defensively solid. During T.J. Tynan’s brief spell on the Kings’ roster, Turcotte took on the first line center role and thrived with it as well. As the team seeks more production, it might be time for Turcotte to make his NHL debut.

Alex Turcotte of the U.S. National Development Program
Alex Turcotte Formerly a member of the U.S. National Development Program. Rena Laverty/USHL

A natural center, he wouldn’t be an exact replacement for Moore, but his introduction would facilitate a move to the wing for Kupari, which I think benefits everyone involved. I would love a third line of Kaliyev-Turcotte-Kupari. While some might be concerned about frosting a young and inexperienced group, I believe the Kings should make a change. Perhaps a mini-revolution might be the best move. Turcotte can also play a very mature version of the game.It would mean that there wouldn’t be any concerns about him being on the ice, and no defensive issues. Many people want him to replace Kupari in the lineup right now, which I understand, considering Kupari has struggled lately, but I’d rather see them on a line together with Kupari and Kaliyev on the wing.

Gabe Vilardi

It is my hope Gabe Vilardi does not get called up. However, he is still a possibility. With five points in four games, he’s rediscovering his offense in Ontario, but I think he needs a bit more time down in the minors before getting a call-up. A player with his skill level and more NHL experience than the rest of my players is always an option.

Kings must make a difference

It would be unfair to pin too much blame on Moore for the team’s offensive struggles. His lack of production is a problem, and something must change quickly if the team wishes to be in the playoff hunt. The team would be able to add any of the players mentioned above to its third line offensively. Of course, this wouldn’t solve all the team’s issues, but it would help. Moore would still play an important role on the fourth and penalty kills, but his lackluster production should be reason enough to move him off the third.