In a move that surely will be resonate in a popular way both in the Rangers dressing room and among the Blueshirts Faithful—not to mention on the ice—the Rangers announced on Tuesday that the club had agreed to terms with center Dominic Moore, guaranteeing that he will remain in New York.
Moore, who won the 2014 Masterton Trophy for sportsmanship, perseverance, and dedication to ice hockey, returned to the Rangers in 2013-14 after stepping away from the NHL for 18 months to first care for, then grieve for, his wife Katie who passed away from a rare form of cancer in January of 2013. After a slow start this past season, Moore established himself as an integral part of a Rangers team that was one of the league’s best in the second half of 2013-14 and eventually reached the Stanley Cup Final.
A key part of the team’s third-ranked penalty killing unit last season, Moore also anchored the Rangers’ fourth line and was their top face-off man, winning them at nearly a 55 percent clip in both the regular season and post-season. Moore scored six goals and totaled 18 points in 73 games this past season, and then added three goals and eight points while playing in all 25 playoff games this past spring. It was his goal in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden which vaulted New York into its first Cup Final in twenty years with a 1-0 victory.
This is Moore’s second tour of duty on Broadway. He was originally selected by the Blueshirts in the 2000 draft out of Harvard University and became a regular with the club in the 2005-06 season. After being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins the following season Moore played with eight other teams before rejoining the Rangers last summer.
Moore became an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, but the Rangers moved quickly to re-sign him and keep him in the fold. Teammates Brian Boyle and Anton Stralman (both in Tampa Bay) and Benoit Pouliot (Edmonton) were UFAs, but decided to sign elsewhere after successful stints with the Blueshirts.
The popular and well-respected 33 year-old Moore has played in 603 National Hockey League games and totaled 203 points in his career. However there isn’t a coach, player, or teammate who would argue that Moore isn’t judged by his total package more than just by his numbers. It is a key reason why he remains a Ranger today despite hitting the open market.