Dominic Moore, 32, returned to the team that drafted him when he signed with the New York Rangers this offseason after a year away from hockey. Most of you already know why he was away from hockey and that the Rangers selected him with the 95th overall pick in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. For those of you that don't know, Dominic took a year off from hockey because on January 7th, 2013 his wife lost her battle with a rare form of liver cancer called fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. I hesitate to the use the word "lost" because Katie Moore fought the disease with more bravery than I am capable of describing to you. Perhaps it is more appropriate to say that Katie fought as long and hard as anyone could fight and then succumbed to the disease that afflicted her. Dominic shared what he and his wife went through in an article for The Globe and Mail in March (click here to read it), it is a powerful, sobering piece that deserves to be read.
Unfortunately, Katie Moore's passing wasn't the first time and it almost certainly won't be the last time that cancer touches the hockey world.
Dominic recently opened up about what happened after losing his wife and his decision to return to playing in the NHL. Apparently the Rangers approached him just a month after the lockout ended about making a comeback but understandably Dominic had to decline.
"Just the timing of everything at that time just didn't work out," Moore said Wednesday. "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 has had to care for someone with cancer - it's a battle that the whole family is in. It's something that, after you've been through that, you kind of need some time to reorganize ... just kind of regroup."
After taking some time away from the game Dominic decided he was ready to play professional hockey again and he knew where he wanted to play.
"No doubt, coming back to New York is definitely what I wanted to happen, it was my first choice for a variety of reasons," Moore said. "I've always been drawn back there. I'm grateful that it's come to fruition."
And we're grateful to have you back Dom.
Moore has always been an easy guy to cheer for given his style of play. He plays the game between his ears, he's a strong skater, he never takes a shift off, and he is a strong two-way player and a valuable penalty killer. He's a prototypical bottom-six energy guy that just happens to be one of the best faceoff men in the league.
Dominic, we're glad that you're back in the city that chose you, we're glad to see you ready to play again, and when you step onto the ice wearing an NHL jersey for the first time since your wife passed away I know that I won't be the only one that is on their feet, applauding your return to the game that you love.
Heartfelt thank you for the well-wishes and support. It means so much. Can't wait for the start of the season.— Dominic Moore (@mooredom) July 8, 2013
Dominic Moore is holding the Smashfest Charity Ping-Pong Challenge on July 25th in Toronto. Please go check it out HERE guys. Proceeds go to concussion research and the Katie Moore Foundation for rare cancers.
Cancer is something that has made an impact on so many of our lives that it has become something that connects us and brings us together. It is tragic that it has touched so many of us and our loved ones but we can turn that into a positive by talking about it together, supporting one another, and working together to conquer the disease.
Thanks for reading, Let's go Rangers.