As you know, Dominic Moore signed with the Rangers as a free agent on July 5. Moore, who started his career as a Ranger, did not play last season as his wife Katie battled, then lost her life to liver cancer at age 32 in January.
Moore was on a conference call today. Here is a transcript of some of his remarks:
“I couldn’t be more excited. Obviously I have great memories from over the years of playing at Madison Square Garden, both as a Ranger and as a visiting player. It’s always been one of my favorite places to play, if not the favorite. The atmosphere is something special at MSG, as everyone knows, and I can’t wait to be back and put that Ranger jersey back on. It’s going to be a great feeling.”
On the layoff:
“I don’t know. I’ve never had that kind of absence at all since I was two years old. I’ve been playing games fairly steadily. At the same time, it’s something I’ve done my whole life, so I think it’ll be pretty quick getting back into the swing of things.”
In the weeks after the lockout, NYR expressed interest in bringing him back, but it was too soon after Katie’s passing:
“Just the timing of everything at that time just didn’t work out. Everything kind of came to a head, unfortunately, at an inopportune time back in January. It was a very, very difficult decision to not play. But at the same time it was definitely the right decision. The months after that gave me a chance to regroup and clear my head. I think going through – if anyone’s care for someone with cancer – it’s a battle that the whole family is in. It’s something that, after you’ve been t hrough that, you kind of need some time to reorganize … just kind of regroup.”
On what the last year has been like:
“That’s a question that could probably take a lifetime to answer. Obviously, in a way, the ups and downs throughout the course of dealing with the disease and what we went through there, it’s a lot to kind of describe in one simple answer.
“The one thing is, I’m grateful for the time we had and in a way those months were the most special months that we had with each other that anyone could ever ask for, despite it being the most difficult and painful months that you could possibly expect or deal with.”
“It is amazing when you see the community. Hockey is a small world and I’ve been very lucky – Katie and I were very lucky – to have the network of support and friends and family. A lot of that network was the hockey world we lived in for so many years. I’m very grateful for that support all the time, throughout the illness but also afterwards.”
What he’s been doing since January:
“I live in Boston in the off-season, so that’s where I’ve been. Basically I’ve been working out a lot, skating and training. I actually did some cross-training with the Harvard tennis team to keep myself in pretty good shape on that front. I’ve been using those months to try and get this foundation (katiemoore.org) off the ground. It’s been busy. There’s also been the charity events that I’m putting on for the second year in Toronto, a smashfest charity ping-pong thing (smashfest.ca). That’s quite a bit of work, and I’m trying to unify that event with this foundation, too. But mostly training and working out, trying to get back in shape.”
On whether he knew all along that he would play hockey again:
“I didn’t really try and get ahead of myself. There’s one thing that the process has taught me, to take one day at a time. That’s basically what I’ve been doing in general, is living one day at a time and not worrying about what’s going to happen too far down the road, what opportunities may or may not present themselves. That’s been good for to just focus on the things I control and my day to day routine.”
“There’s no doubt that coming back to New York was definitely what I wanted to happen, as my first choice for a variety of reasons. I’ve always been drawn back there and I’m grateful that it’s come to fruition.”
On Alain Vigneault:
“I have seen (Vancouver) play a lot the last few years under his guidance and their success is obvious. They have a pretty specific style of play which is not only successful but fun to watch. I also think will probably fits really well with the kind of team we have, more than a lot of rosters, I think. So there’s a lot of things to look forward to with our group including the new coaches.”
On his rookie season with rookie Henrik Lundqvist.
“It’s funny that he’s the only one still there from our rookie season. We bonded, both being rookies, that year and we stayed pretty close throughout the years. I can’t wait to be his teammate again.”
On his summer:
“Summer is all relative. A lot of guys are playing since January, and I wasn’t. The good news is I’ve used that time to get myself in great shape and ready to go, and I’m ready and raring to play again. Obviously watching the playoffs over the course of the spring was a huge motivating factor, too. You watch those great games and you want to be a part of it. I did have a chance to watch a lot of the Ranger games and we have the makings of a great team. There’s a lot to look forward to with our group, I think.”
Photo by Getty Images.