RALEIGH No professional athlete ever wants to get traded, but to listen to Dominic Moore, who was acquired by San Jose from Tampa Bay on Thursday, it could have been much, much worse.
If I could have picked one team to go to in the entire league, this would have been it, Moore said from the RBC Center, two hours before he was to make his debut with the Sharks, centering the third line between Torrey Mitchell and Jamie McGinn.
Im really excited to be a part of this group. Ive watched from afar for a few years now and this team has been one thats really impressed me for the last few years. Its very exciting to be a part of. Weve got our work cut out for us, but hopefully we can do some good things.
Moore, who found out about the trade moments before warmups for the Sharks-Lightning game on Thursday night, knows Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns a bit - Pavelski from being a fellow NHLPA player representative, and Burns from their time together in Minnesota. Moore played 40 games with the Wild over parts of two seasons from 2006-08.
Moore mentioned that everyone has been very welcoming so far, and that joining the team in the midst of a long road trip could be beneficial. The Sharks are playing their fourth of a season-long nine-gamer on Friday night in Raleigh.
Its probably a good thing. To be on the road with the guys and get to now them thats probably a good opportunity for that, Moore said.
There are two facets to Moores game that jump out right away. First, his penalty killing. Moore averages an even two minutes shorthanded this season, and his presence could cut down on the PK minutes for top scorers like Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau.
That wont happen right away, though.
Hell need a practice or two for him to feel comfortable about what we want to do in certain situations, Todd McLellan said. A lot of times its a read-and-react, and everybody has a specific job or role. If he misses an assignment, we could be in trouble.
The second is Moores performance in recent playoff runs. He has helped teams reach the conference finals in each of his last two seasons, with Montreal in 2010 and Tampa Bay last year.
Two years in a row in the conference finals makes you all that hungry and motivated for more, he said. The playoffs are what you play for and what I enjoy the most. To have an opportunity to play in the playoffs is another big, exciting thing for me.
McLellan wouldnt mention who will come out of the lineup for Moore, although it wont be regular third line center Michal Handzus.
Thomas Greiss will start in net against the Hurricanes.