Moore's forced to deal with less

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

On a surprising Sunday afternoon 11 long months ago, Jack and Anna Moore travelled to New York and watched their sons play against each other in a National Hockey League game.

For the first time.

And possibly the last.

A new season begins far removed from the locked-out brats of the NHL and there is only one Moore brother suiting up to play -- a remarkable hockey family of three brothers reduced by time and circumstance to one.

Steve Moore hasn't been on skates since the attack of Todd Bertuzzi last winter. Who knows if he'll ever play again?

"It's too early to know," said Dominic, his younger brother. "It's too early to make any guesses. We have to be patient. We have to take our time."

He won't elaborate much beyond that. When asked about Steve, his father says only, "You'll have to ask him."

An interview request with Steve Moore is not returned.

The oldest brother, Mark Moore, didn't play last season in the minors and still isn't ready to play. Post-concussion syndrome has stalled a career that was slow in development.

"You can't rush a head injury," Dominic said. "He's still struggling with with the concussion stuff. That's not easy for anybody."

Imagine what it's like for the family. This is Year 2 for Dominic Moore as a pro hockey player and he is speaking from a hotel room in Hartford, ready to have his afternoon nap before last night's American Hockey League pre-season game. He is the youngest of the three brothers from Thornhill who played together at Harvard and then individually became professionals.

A good news story gone wrong.

Dominic Moore is the last hockey brother standing. They don't talk about it much together, how one career is likely over, another may be in doubt, not when it has consumed and formed so much of their lives as children and young adults.

They don't talk about how they are feeling, about what's next, about the state of the injuries, about what's inside each of them and how they have to be affected by each other's pain.

"We're very close," Dominic said. "But it's not something that comes up. We know what we're feeling on a daily basis. We know what we think of each other. We talk about a lot of things. We don't always talk about that."

What if you were Dominic or his parents, Jack and Anna? What if you watched three strong, healthy boys work their way through Harvard, find their way to professional hockey, live the dream, and then one gets hurt, and then another Would you want your third son playing anymore?

"They (parents) don't say anything about it," Dominic said. "They know we're grown men and make our own decisions. I think if you love the game and you like to play the game, then it's up to you.

"If I didn't want to play, I wouldn't. No one's telling me to quit. When things happen you take a little bit of time, to make sense of them for yourself. To be honest, I haven't put a lot of thought into that type of thing. I just know what I want to do and what I have to do to do it."

The plan, last November, was for the Moore family to make their way to New York, then take the short drive to Hartford to watch Dominic play an AHL game one night and come back the next afternoon to watch Steve play for the Colorado Avalanche against the New York Rangers.

What a thrill and a surprise it must have been when they got to New York and learned that Dominic was going to play his first game for the Rangers in Montreal against the Canadiens: A game in which he scored his only three NHL points.

MOORE VS. MOORE

And that very next day it was Moore versus Moore. For the first time, and who knows if ever again.

Asked when the last time a season began without the Moores all playing, Dominic paused before answering.

"Probably never," he said before repeating the same words a second time.

"Probably never."


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