Moon Staying Put – Sporting New Attitude
The only way to put the full spectrum of Nathan Moon’s story into context is to start this article by telling you that the Kingston Frontenacs are 9-28-4 this season.
The Frontenacs have been a roller-coaster ride of controversy, bad attitudes, a revolving door of players, and questionable coaching decisions.
Earlier this year, GM and bane of most of the Frontenacs fan base, Larry Mavety, stepped down as head coach and named former NHL great Doug Gilmour to the head spot.
In what was expected to be a turnaround, things went from bad to worse.
The Frontenacs were falling apart in front of the entire OHL. Things came to a head when Josh Brittain, an Anaheim Ducks prospect and one of Kingston’s star offensive players, requested a trade and was dealt away from Kingston.
That left Matt Kang and Nathan Moon as the two proven goal-scorers on the team. And neither of them were happy.
Moon, visibly frustrated by the departure of Brittain and the team as a whole, reportedly requested that he be traded at deadline which was just around the corner. This came off the heels of a two-game suspension for an unsportsmanlike conduct incident.
Moon’s play fell into a lackadaisical downturn. He wasn’t playing defense, he wasn’t skating hard, and he was careless with the puck.
However, as the deadline approached, it became obvious for Moon that he wasn’t going anywhere. He was dealt an even bigger blow when he was sent to the press box as a healthy scratch. The newspapers were calling him lazy; the fans were turning their backs on him.
But with that scratch and a subsequent meeting with the coaches came a bit of an epiphany. The following interview was recorded in Nathan Moon’s return to the lineup, where he scored an early goal and added an assist to give the dismal Frontenacs some life.
What you see in that interview is a lot of accountability for someone so young. I need to play better. I was being lazy. I can be the best player in the league. I will become a good hockey player.
Moon, since returning to the lineup, has been nothing short of solid. Head coach Doug Gilmour views Moon as a vital asset to the Frontenacs journey and believes in Moon enough to issue him an “A”.
Last night, Moon continued his march with his new attitude. Moon netted two goals in a shootout loss to the Niagara Ice Dogs. The team may have lost, but it’s taking strides in the right direction. Moon was active at both ends of the ice. He was stripping the puck away in the defensive zone and skating better than he has all year.
For Penguins fans, it’s time to watch what Moon does next. For a long time, Moon was considered lazy. He didn’t play defense. He was floating in the offensive zone.
Since Moon has learned that he would be staying with Frontenacs and his night spent in the press box, we’ve seen what he’s fully capable of.
Moon is nothing short of an offensively dynamic player. Think Petr Sykora with a bit of a mean streak and willingness to get into the boards and do the dirty work.
While Kingston might not be the most ideal place to develop, Moon has to make the most of his time in the OHL.
It appears that he’s taken the first step in doing so.