Profile: Dominic Moore

Dominic Moore is one of three nominees for the National Hockey League’s Masterton Trophy, which is given to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

Dominic Moore skates for the New York Rangers
Dominic Moore skates for the New York Rangers

But Moore, 33, who leads the New York Rangers’ offensively modest, yet restlessly energetic fourth (read: bottom) unit, has a story much deeper — and certainly much darker — than each of his co-candidates’. This season, Moore has personified the healing power that even a violent sport like hockey can have on someone who has suffered so profoundly from personal tragedy and loss.

Even before being drafted by the Rangers in 2000, Moore had everything going for him. He attended Harvard University, where he suited up for the Crimson alongside his two older brothers before becoming captain of the team. At the same time, he met his future wife, Katie, a soccer star at Harvard. The couple married in 2010 and established their home in Boston, but Katie stayed by her husband’s side as he moved from the Rangers to eight other NHL teams in his first 12 seasons.

Dominic and Katie Moore. Photo taken February 2010.
Dominic and Katie Moore. Photo taken February 2010.

In April 2012, as Dominic began a playoff run with the San Jose Sharks, Katie received terrible news. She was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer, which prompted Dominic to leave hockey in order to care for his wife.

Katie Moore died only a few months later in January 2013. She was 32.

Dominic didn’t play all of last year, and as a free agent, if he decided to return to the sport, there was a definite possibility of landing in a new locker room. After setting up a foundation in Katie’s honor, Dominic chose to put his skates back on when he signed a one-year deal last July, returning to the team that first drafted him, the Rangers.

“Life as a professional athlete is almost necessarily selfish,” Moore told The Globe and Mail. “It takes so much focus to compete at that level. And that plays into the role the wives play,” he says. “She knew I was pursuing my childhood dream.”

ESPN’s E60: “Coming Home” –  a great piece on Moore and his story.

E60 “COMING HOME” SEGMENT from Bluefoot Entertainment on Vimeo.

Linda Hayes hopes to grow women’s hockey in New York City

Linda Hayes has quickly become the face of women’s hockey in New York City.

Hayes, 56, is the captain of the Brooklyn Blades, the longest-running women’s hockey team in the New York City area. Hayes got involved in the sport just before the inaugural women’s hockey Olympic tournament in the 1998 Nagano Games, when she hadn’t even skated nor seen a hockey game before, but wanted to play a team sport.

In addition to playing 20 games against other local women’s teams in Long Island, Westchester County and northern New Jersey from October through March, Hayes also spends time promoting the sport and trying to get young players interested.

“We’re seeing people coming in that have been skating for longer and longer,” Hayes said in a phone interview. “There was nobody trying out that had played hockey from an early age, and now we have that. I was in Central Park over the weekend and just seeing all the young girls was amazing, 10 years ago you wouldn’t have seen so many.”

Linda Hayes celebrates during a Brooklyn Blades game this season.
Linda Hayes celebrates during a Brooklyn Blades game this season.

Hayes is part of a larger movement in the growth of women’s hockey across the country. When the first International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship was held in 1990, there were 6,336 female players registered with USA Hockey. That numbered has swelled to more than 65,600 female players today, including 4,500 in the New York City area.

Hayes believes the biggest spikes in interest come after Winter Olympics, when the exposure of women’s hockey is at its highest. After the hotly contested gold-medal game between the U.S. and Canada in this year’s gold medal game, which Canada won 3-2 in overtime, Hayes expects that interest to continue to grow over the next several months.

“When girls are watching TV and see what they can become, they become interested in the sport,” Hayes said. “The Olympics are the Stanley Cup for women, but we only get it every four years.”