New Leaf Dominic Moore joined The Andrew Walker Show on Monday afternoon, discussing his decision to return to the franchise, playing in his hometown, re-uniting with Patrick Marleau, and more.
Moore is hosting his annual Smashfest Charity Ping-Pong Challenge benefitting concussion and rare cancer research this Thursday, July 20th at the Steam Whistle Brewery in downtown Toronto. Passes are available here.
On joining the Leafs:
For me, the excitement is hard to describe. You go free agency and you want to find a place that is the right fit for a variety of reasons. Obviously, coming back to Toronto, which is where I’m from but more importantly has a chance to do some great things, some special things this coming year. With the talent and skill level and what the coaching staff has done with this team for the last couple of years and the management kind of making Toronto an exciting team that has a lot of potential, to be able to join that group is an exciting opportunity.
On playing for his hometown team:
Playing for the team that you grew up rooting for — I think there is a passion there that can come through in your play. I think that’s definitely something that’s not lost on me. It’s an important part of the decision-making process. You want to bring that passion to your game and it obviously comes a little bit more naturally for me when you put on the Blue and White.
On the appeal of Leafs off-ice staff:
Coming in and meeting with Lou Lamoriello and Brendan Shanahan, for me, it’s a night and day difference in the organization. It starts at the top and everything falls into place with the people that make the organization run. That’s a huge part of the excitement of me joining this organization — the people who create the working environment there. Everything on a daily basis comes down to the attitude that starts at the top. For me, that’s an exciting thing to be joining.
On the pros and cons of playing for the Leafs as a Toronto kid:
To me, it comes down to personalities. There are certain personalities that would thrive in the environment and there are certain personalities that don’t. I’ve played with players over the course of the years and you kind of get a sense of whether they would or wouldn’t embrace that kind of opportunity. For me personally, growing up and rooting for the Leafs and rooting for Doug Gilmour and watching those special playoff runs, the thought of being a part of wearing the Blue and White in the playoffs and going through that as a player is living a dream come true. To me, that’s more what I would think about, but everyone is different.
On the addition of Patrick Marleau the day after he signed:
I was extremely pumped when that news broke. I briefly played with Patrick in San Jose. During that short time, I got to know him pretty well. I felt like he was a guy that I could really connect with on that team. I have a tonne of respect for him. He’s just the most humble and hard-working guy. For all of the accolades that he’s got, he’s pretty impressive as far as his diligence and humility that he carries with him every single day.
There is a guy that, number one, is an incredible asset to the team. Hearing that he’s joining the team, you fist pump at that in terms of the help he’s going to provide. Number two, just to have a guy that you can connect and you know is also something that is exciting.
On receiving a welcome call from Auston Matthews:
Auston was great. He was nice enough to give me a call and welcome me to the team. I thought that was an incredibly nice thing to do, to reach out like that. I think it’s not lost on him that, even at his young age, he’s a leader of the group. It was great to connect with him. I told him I’m looking forward to getting going. I heard from a bunch of the guys who just reached out over text. I really appreciate that and can’t wait to meet them all and get going.
On how he feels about potentially playing for a very young captain, and whether he’s experienced it before:
Ryan McDonaugh, in relative terms, was younger. There is a bit of maturity there. You need to grow into the role. Sometimes you need to have the responsibility even before you’re ready for it; there is that line of thinking, or there is the other way, where you kind of mature and then when the time comes, you take it on. I don’t know what’s right, but either way, whether you have a letter on your jersey or not — regardless of your age — you’ve got to lead in your own way and be yourself.
It’s a great character group. I think it shows by the way the team plays night in and night out. Everyone will bring that leadership in some shape or form.