It was the best of times, it was the worst of times and it was the most idiotic decision in Dominic Moore's career. From a player who was initially claimed by the Maple Leafs off waivers from the Minnesota Wild, and became the ether to Jason Blake's resurgence last season, it seems either greed, a serious misjudgment, or just flat out stupidity cost him nearly $4M dollars.
Prior to the Maple Leafs trading him away at last year's hectic NHL trade deadline, the Leafs and Dominic Moore had negotiated a deal over the course of two months. When things started to inch closer to the deadline, Brian Burke kicked talks into high gear to either sign him or trade him. In 63 games, Moore had notched a 12 goal and 29 assist performance to top his NHL career highs in each category. For his work and leadership role, Burke had offered him a 3 year $5.1M dollar contract (or $1.7M per season). Moore refused to sign, stating he felt he was worth between $2.5M and $3M, so Burke shipped him off to the Sabres for a 2nd round pick. Buffalo didn't make the playoffs with Moore's addition, and he finished out the remaining 18 games with just 1 goal and 3 assists.
When free agency time hit, Moore was looking forward to his big pay raise that the Leafs refused to sign because, in his mind, "they are total idiots, I'm like totally a star." But the rest of the league felt otherwise, and a few teams even felt that Burke's offer of $1.7M per season was generous. My apologies, did I say a few teams? I meant everyone. The entire league. Moore even waited, hoping he'd get more money as the summer continued, but then something happened; something strange and horrible and could only happen in a horror film (as I recall, it was a horror film). No. One. Called. (Insert scary music here, or just anything by Faith Hill.)
On October 4th, 2009 – you read that correctly – 3 days after the new season started, Moore signed a 1 year $1.1M dollar contract with the Florida Panthers, and now he gets to prove to the Leafs that "they like totally missed out on how ridiculously awesome the Moore players are man!" This season, he has 2 goals and 2 assists in 13 games with the Panthers. He is now on pace for a 12 goal, 25 point season. This guy "screams" franchise player, I swear.
What is interesting to note is how much his numbers dipped as soon as he left the Leafs, or rather Jason Blake. It seems it may not have been entirely Dominic Moore's impressive talents that had boosted Blake's game, but rather Blake's game that boosted Moore's stats, which in turn made him go temporarily insane and reject a $5.1M dollar contract. It's either that, or Moore is deathly terrified of odd numbers, which is a strange disease in any sense.
We'll certainly find out if he can stick it to the man, tonight, and by man, I mean Brian Burke. At this point, I'll put my money on the possibility that half way through the game, you'll hear his name and not only have forgotten he was playing, but you'll think Steve Moore first.
Powerplay: TOR 10th (22.0%), FLA 30th (12.4%)
Penalty Kill: TOR 30th (73.9%), FLA 29th (74.2%)
Faceoff % – TOR 14th (49.9%), FLA 15th (49.8%)
Average Shots For: TOR 1st (34.7), FLA 26th (27.6)
Average Shots Against: TOR 21st (30.5), FLA 29th (35.4)
Average Goals For: TOR 21st (2.61), FLA 22nd (2.56)
Average Goals Against: TOR 30th (3.61), FLA 26th (3.04)
5 on 5 Goals For/Against Ratio: TOR 26th (0.78), FLA 23rd (0.91)
Click Here to See the Top10 Worst Shootout Attempts Ever, but all of these players still say “at least I’m not Dominic Moore!”
Micheal A. Aldred