It hasn't been a particularly good few months for Colorado College. The Tigers had a chance to make the NCAA Tournament, but melted down in an opening-round WCHA playoff loss to UMD. While the Tigers sat home and tried to figure out what went wrong, the Bulldogs went on to win the Final Five championship.
Lost from that Tiger team are its two best players, forward Chad Rau and goalie Richard Bachman. As they reload, there was at least one key arrival to look forward to. Defenseman John Moore played the 2008-2009 season with Chicago of the United States Hockey League. The talented blueliner was a projected first-round pick, but there was a caveat for the Tigers.
Moore was rumored to be considering a move to major junior, and there were teams thinking of drafting him that were planning on encouraging him to make that move.
Last week, there was a report that Moore was on the verge of signing with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, a move that would end any chance of him ever showing up in Colorado Springs.
Tuesday, Moore signed an entry-level deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team that drafted him in the first round in June. That ends any chance of him joining the Tigers, and it cements his plan to play for Kitchener.
Moore told the Colorado Springs Gazette that he felt major junior gave him a better chance of getting into the NHL sooner. Perhaps he should have stopped fielding calls on the situation from Pierre McGuire.
Phil Kessel, Thomas Vanek, Matt Niskanen, Jonathan Toews, and Mason Raymond -- among others -- disagree.
I'm not here to make any blanket statements about this being a huge blow for college hockey, because it's happened before, it's happened to high-profile programs (hi, Peter Mueller!), and it will happen again.
Unfortunately, certain people (some of whom don't have any hair and like to talk about monsters) will use this decision by Moore as evidence that more and more young players recognize Canadian major junior hockey as the only way for an American-born player to develop into a superstar.
The reality of the situation still hasn't changed, and it's simply that major junior isn't for everyone. Neither is college hockey. Every kid has to be allowed to make their own decision about what's best for them, and they need to be allowed to do so without undue pressure being put on them from any side.
No college, major junior program, NHL analyst, or NHL team can possibly know for sure what is best for every individual player.
John Moore decided that major junior hockey was his best path for development. We begrudgingly wish him well.