First, to answer what usually seems to be the most-asked question, Ethan Moreau will wear No. 17 with the Kings. Moreau said his son also secured the number today when he signed up with the Jr. Kings program, so the Moreaus will be on the same page this season. I talked to Moreau (the elder) about his reasons for wanting to join the Kings and his motivation at this stage of his career. At the end of my interview is the video interview Moreau did today with Kings Vision…
Question: You got this deal done fairly late in the summer. Can you maybe talk about what the last two months have been like, and your process in trying to find the right fit?
MOREAU: “I guess everything happens for a reason and everything works out in the end. That’s definitely the case with us this summer. I was coming off a disappointing year, where I got hurt early in the season, but still having a lot of confidence in my ability, that I can play. I have a lot of hockey left and I knew that whoever gave me a chance was going to be happy. It just kind of turned out that, literally, No. 1 on my list would be to play in L.A., on a good team that has a chance to win a Stanley Cup, and be around family and lots of friends. I’m not just saying that. It was No. 1 on the list, and I was fortunate that it materialized.”
Question: Were you waiting to see how things played out with the Kings? You waited a while to sign. Were you keeping an eye on whether things would work out with them?
MOREAU: “I knew they had some interest, but I also knew that they were looking at some other players. It was just a case where I had to wait. I didn’t really know where I was going to end up. It just happened really fast. I told my agent, Pat Brisson, that that’s where I wanted to be, but that’s not always the way it works. You can’t just call up a team and say, `This guy wants to play here, for these reasons.’ But for me, it was all reasons. It’s for quality of life. It’s for my kid. It’s to be close to my brother, who lives here also. But probably, most importantly, it’s a chance to win. I probably wouldn’t have those same sentiments if it wasn’t a great team, which I believe it is.”
Question: Ron Hextall said he talked to you a couple days ago, and all you talked about was winning the Stanley Cup. That’s not something, in past years, that has been associated with the Kings. What did you see, from the outside, that made this an attractive situation for you?
MOREAU: “Well, that’s one thing that has to change. I think everybody in the organization has to get rid of that feeling. You can’t feel inferior, or you’re not going to accomplish winning. You have to know that you’re on the same level as some of the elite teams. We have to prove that. But from the outside looking in, before I was part of the organization, everybody knows that L.A. has a very, very good roster and that they’re going to be challenging for the top spot in the Pacific and in the West. I think that’s a pretty common opinion around the league. That’s just not coming from a guy that just signed here. At this stage of my career, I’ve been to Game 7 of the Finals and lost, and I’ve been on some teams that haven’t done well and haven’t made the playoffs. That was one thing I wanted to stay away from. I didn’t want to go to a young team and have to be the older guy on a young, not very good team. I wanted to be a piece of the puzzle on a good team that had a chance to win. I think everybody would agree that L.A. is that spot.”
Question: Obviously this will be up to the coaches, but what are your expectations for yourself on the ice, in terms of what role you might fill? Have you had those conversations yet?
MOREAU: “I want to come to camp and prove that I’m where I was a few years ago. Throughout my career, I’ve been a top player on the third line. I’ve been an elite penalty-killer. I play defensively, I play physical, I play tough. I just can’t wait to get back, just to show my teammates that I’m not just here for leadership. I’m not just here to be a piece of the roster. I want to re-establish myself and score goals and play tough and do what I’ve always done. I don’t feel like my play has gone down. I’ve just had some unlucky injuries. It’s exciting for me to be able to re-prove myself in the league and have some incentive. I’m mad, which is good. I’m motivated that more teams didn’t want me, and hopefully I can take it out through my play.”
Question: And your brother, Chad, he’s local, right? He lives in the South Bay?
MOREAU: “My brother, he used to be the strength coach for the Edmonton Oilers. He’s a chiropractor in Torrance. So I’ve been coming down here for about eight or nine years to train with him. He’s a pretty knowledgable hockey guy and he has helped my career, so it’s going to be fun to play in front of him as well. A lot of the guys know him as well.”
Question: Dustin Brown sent out a tweet saying he has known you for a long time. Is that through your summer work here?
MOREAU: “Yeah, just from being down here. I know Brownie. I think we have mutual friends and I’ve gotten to know him well. Obviously I know Stolly [Jarret Stoll] and Greener [Matt Greene] and Pens [Dustin Penner]. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the other guys too, just from being around those guys. It’s such a comfort level. I went in the locker room today and I kind of knew everybody in there. It was a weird feeling for me, because I’ve always been on the other side and practicing with those guys and getting along with them, but now, actually being in the room, it felt pretty cool.”