MONTREAL – Getting traded mid-year is never easy for any player. But when Dominic Moore’s phone rang this February, his destination turned out to be a perfect fit.
Now donning his seventh NHL jersey in eight years, adapting to new environments is nothing new for the Thornhill, ON native. Still, being thrown into the midst of a tighter-than-ever playoff race in hockey mad Montreal was no easy task when he was brought in at the trade deadline this year. Far from wilting under the glare of the spotlight, though, Moore stepped seamlessly into his new environment.
“Everybody responds differently to playing in a place like this,” described the veteran center whose resume also includes pressure-packed stints with the Leafs and Rangers. “Some people don’t like it at all and some do. I appreciated it and I enjoyed it.”
Racking up 11 points in 21 games down the stretch, Moore helped provide some much-needed depth for the Canadiens’ playoff run this spring. He might have been brought in to anchor the third line, win key faceoffs and provide energy to the lineup, but the Habs got even more than they had bargained for with the 29-year-old pivot.
Leading all Habs centers with a 53.2 percent efficiency in the faceoff circle in the regular season, Moore also emerged as one of the team’s key penalty killers, playing 32:27 shorthanded minutes in the postseason. The two-way center potted four goals this spring, including the series-clincher in Game 7 in Washington in the first round.
“I take a lot of pride in playing that kind of game and I think it showed throughout the playoffs how important that role is,” offered Moore, who finished with a plus-1 rating this spring. “In order to succeed you have to have that depth, especially down the middle.”
Moore may only have four months experience as a Hab under his belt, but with free agency looming, he could be looking to add to that total come July 1.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience. We’re still disappointed right now, but in a few weeks I’ll be able to look back on what happened with a sense of pride,” mused Moore. “To play in a place like this where hockey means everything is really special.”Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.See alsoYear in review - Josh Gorges Year in review – Marc-Andre Bergeron Make the play Training to train