New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers

Dominic Moore: ‘Deciding not to play was the right thing to do’


Dominic Moore is closing in on his return to National Hockey League action.

He missed the entire 2013 season, after his wife, Katie, tragically passed away in January after a battle with liver cancer.

It was a decision he does not regret making, however he does not deny how difficult it was stepping away from the game and the league he has played in since 2003.

“Deciding not to play was the right and only thing to do,” Moore told correspondent Mike Brophy.

“I knew if I wasn’t going to be able to give it 100 percent of my focus, I didn’t want to do something halfway and not be all-in. Taking time off was the right thing to do when you don’t believe you’ll be able to perform up to the standard you expect from yourself. It was the right call to make, although it was extremely difficult.”

Moore signed with the New York Rangers on July 5. It was a one-year deal worth $1 million.

It’s also the same team Moore made his NHL debut with back on Nov. 1, 2003.

“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 back in July. “I’ve always been drawn back there. I’m grateful that it’s come to fruition.”

On Thursday, a number of NHL players and fans traded in hockey sticks for ping-pong paddles in the second annual Smashfest Charity Ping-Pong Challenge, raising more than $100,00 for for The Katie Moore Foundation, which, according to NHLPA, “was established in honour of Dominic’s late wife, Katie, and various brain injury concussion research foundations.”

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: