They call him Maddog. He’s big. He’s rugged. He’s tough. He’s Marc Moro.
Marc Moro might not be the most talked about Nashville Predator prospect but, he might be the most entertaining and one of the most popular. The Milwaukee Admirals defenseman has had a long time following no matter where he has gone. Whether he played in Kingston or Cincinnati, the fans loved him and opponents loathed him. And for good reason.
See, Moro could never be called an offensive guy. In just over 400 games played, he has scored 14 goals and racked up about 70 points since first joining the Kingston Frontenacs. In that time, he has played for the Soo, the former PEI of the AHL, Cincy of the AHL and now, Milwaukee of the IHL. So, what is the fascination? He has over 1,250 penalty minutes.
He doesnt lose many fights and would bring excitement to anybody who enjoys a good scrap. Apparently, thats a lot of people. He has his own fanclub, Maddog’s Mob and they have devoted an entire website (http://www.maddogsmob.com/) to Moro. Not bad, for a guy who is looked at as just a minor league role player by some. His teamates dont mind him either. This season, he was named as Milwaukee’s captain.
Moro was selected 27th overall by the Sens in 1995 and was highly thought of. They thought enough of him that he got an early AHL audition. In 95-96 he spent two games with PEI. The main reason was his fists, of course. He even got a one game audition with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 97-98, although he received almost no ice time. Thats not to say he’s a defensive liability but his lack of offense may cost him an NHL career. Therefore, the Predators are working with Moro to improve his stickhandling.
The Preds like Moro and the fact he could easily fill an enforcer role for the team. In fact, his play is quite similar to current Predator Bob Boughner. Like Boughner, Moro can be a leader on and off the ice. The difference is Moro needs lots of work on skating and stickhandling. Should he improve, he may get a shot with an NHL team. One problem is he’s in an organization that’s deep at defense. His future is most likely not in Music City USA. Should he go someplace else that is looking for an enforcer, he would fit in nicely as long as they dont mind a player with limited abilities. Until then, he will keep entertaining those who watch him play, where ever he goes.
SYKORA BOLTS FOR HOMELAND
One of the Predators’ top prospects, Petr Sykora has left the organization and has gone back to Europe. He will play for Pardubice in the Czech League. Reportedly, the Czech team was also trying to woo Patrick Elias during his contract squabble with New Jersey.
Apparently, Sykora felt his development was lacking and felt he would be better off playing in the Czech Republic. He also was planning am attempt to make the national team.
The 22 year old center has struggled since coming over to North America last year. He was disappointing in Milwaukee last year and it wasnt until he moved to wing, did he start producing offensively. His strong late season rewarded him with a two game audition with the Preds late last year and he was expected to challenge for a roster spot. Instead, he was cut early in training camp.
The Preds will retain his rights and Sykora does still have interest in the NHL and returning to the organization sometime later.
GOAL LIGHT WATCH
Konstantin Panov continues to impress in Kamloops. In 14 games, he has scored 12 goals and has added eight assists. Of course, people still wonder about Panov’s NHL future. He’s just a little guy but appears to have all the skills to make the NHL.
“He’s really going good.” Predators general manager David Poile told The Tennessean. “He’s still got to bet bigger and stronger and work on his positioning. But the fact is, he can score goals.”
Even more amazing, is that Panov was taken in the fifth round of the 1999 draft at pick 131 overall. Is it any wonder HF’s very own Bryan Taylor called him a sleeper pick?
Over in North Bay, OHL rookie Jonas Andersson is still playing well. Andersson is the Cents’ leading scorer. In 14 games, he has five goals and chipped in 10 assists.
Andersson was a complete unknown when the Preds chose him in the second round of the ’99 draft, but he is quickly shedding that label. He is coming off an awesome NHL rookie camp and he may even challenge for an NHL roster spot next year.
In Milwaukee, Nashville’s primary affiliate, center Mark Mowers is leading the parade. He was named IHL player of the week October 26 after scoring four points in two games. He was an IHL all star last year, and might be on his way again. In eight games, he has eight points. The former New Hampshire standout and Hobey Baker award finalist played 30 games last year with the Predators. In addition, he won the McKenzie trophy as the IHL’s top American born rookie.
In a disappointment, Marian Cisar has been held pointless in eight games. Among defenseman in the “I”, Karlis Skratsnis and Richard Lintner are both off to good starts. Lintner started the season up with the Predators.
Chris Mason and Corey Hirsch are off to tremendous starts in Milwaukee. They are both among the IHL league leaders. Mason is posting a .948 save percentage while Hirsch is posting a .918. The bad news for them is they are getting very little offensive support so far.
In Medicine Hat, Kyle Kettles is off to a rough start. As the starter he is posting a GAA of 4.18 in 11 games. He is posting a 5-5-1 record with a save percentage of .875.
Another disappointment is the play of Brian Finley. Finley is off to a rough start with Barrie. While he is 5-3-0 this season, his other numbers are well down. He has a GAA of 3.63 and a save percentage of .884, but stats dont bother David Poile anymore. “After watching David (Legwand) last year, I’m not paying any attention to what they do in juniors,” Poile said with a smile, tongue in cheek to The Tennessean.
HENDERSON FOR HEALEY
As the season began, the Preds traded prospect Matt Henderson to the Philadelphia Flyers. Henderson was being molded to be a power forward. In exchange, they acquired Paul Healey. Healey was once looked as a sure fire NHLer but had fallen on the Flyers depth chart.