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Ex-Leaf Dominic Moore: It’s better to be lucky—and good

Some months ago I commented that Dominic Moore, a hard-working Maple Leaf in his short time with the blue and white, had miscalculated his ‘open-market’ value last year.

Before the trade deadline, the Leafs (if we are to believe the reports) offered him a contract that, for the career path Moore was on, was a really good deal for a third/fourth line player. He and his agent thought he could do better as a free agent last summer, so the Leafs moved him to the Sabres when they couldn’t reach a deal.

Come this past summer, the offers were seemingly few and far between. Eventually, Moore settled for a one-year deal in Florida for far less than what the Leafs had offered, according to media reports.

Moore plied his trade with the struggling Panthers, working diligently as he always has throughout his career. Good play met good fortune when he was traded again before the deadline this past winter, this time to the Montreal Canadiens.

Moore is the kind of useful role-player that playoff-bound teams might covet. He fit in perfectly with Jacques Martin’s defensive approach, contributing to the Habs at least making the playoffs.

But his value to the Montreal effort was even more pronounced in the 7-game series with the powerful Capitals. Moore doesn’t need to score much to be a valuable player. He is a conscientious grinder, a fine penalty-killer known for his defensive excellence. But when he scored in Game 4, and more notably the eventual winner in Game 7 last night, Moore became an instant hero in Montreal.


On a personal level, I’m happy for Moore. He was a solid Leaf, though his time with the Leafs must have been uncomfortable because one of his Leaf teammates had been with the Canucks when Todd Bertuzzi’s violent actions ended the NHL career of Moore’s older brother.

Steve Moore has never played again, yet Bertuzzi still plays, but that’s an issue for another day.

Long story short, I’m glad things worked out for Dominic Moore.


The Capitals remind me a bit of the 1960s Chicago Black Hawks. Those Hawk teams had two of the most dynamic offensive stars in the world, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, and the best offensive defenseman in hockey (until Orr came along later that decade) in Pierre Pilotte.

Yet in the old six team NHL, they could only win one Stanley Cup (in 1961), though they had the talent to win a few more.

Washington has the brilliant Ovechkin and the highly gifted Nicklas Backstrom and Green on the back end, but still, they’re going home.

It’s too easy to lay this at the feet of a few players. Montreal upset the Caps for many reasons, including a stunningly good performance in the last two game by Halak. (I posted, when things looked bleak for Montreal, that I still really liked the Habs goalie “situation”—having two good young goalies that both want to play. I like it even more now.) But beyond Halak, they blocked shots galore and played their guts out. Every guy contributed.

Washington played hard, but stuff happens in the playoffs. The Caps will likely win it all some day, but for now, the disappointment will linger for a long time- again.
Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Blog

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