Moores is a ways from Bear country

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- As crowded as his trophy case is, Billy Moores will happily make room if the Edmonton Oilers manage to win the Stanley Cup.

While Moores had all the team and personal accolades he could handle as head coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears, the 2006 Cup final against Carolina is his first crack at hockey's biggest bauble.

"This is the top of the profession," said Moores. "This is where everybody would like to be. This is another level."

TWO CIAU TITLES

Moores, 58, won two CIAU titles in five trips to the University Cup final in his seven seasons as head coach of the Golden Bears. He's a two-time CIAU coach of the year. He spent another 10 years as an assistant coach to Clare Drake.

His resume and trophy case were as loaded as loaded can be when he signed with the Oilers in July of 2000. But this, the Stanley Cup, is a whole different matter.

"The other ones have been in different situations," said Moores, who won a national title in Japan as coach of the Kokudo Bunnies in 1995. "I'm excited, but you contain it, I think, because I recognize there's lots of work left to be done. I'm excited for the players, and for everybody in the organization.

"Knowing how hard everybody has worked to get to this point, it's been a good accomplishment already."

So low-key is Moores, so engulfed in breaking down film and helping set strategy, you seldom hear a peep from him publicly.

Moores is not a guy who needs a notepad or a microphone in his face to be content.

ULTIMATE GOAL

But there's no doubting his excitement.

"I think we have," said Moores, asked if he's had any time to enjoy the march to the Cup final. "A little bit after each series. You give yourself a short time to enjoy it, but you realize it's just a step toward what you ultimately want to accomplish.

"We're all pretty good about that. You have to enjoy the process, certainly, but as a coach you don't allow yourself the same amount of time a player would because of the preparation for the next step."

WHO'S THAT? It's been a while since the Oilers faced the Canes - Dec. 9, 2003. The picture the NHL used on its web page yesterday showed Todd Marchant jostling with Glen Wesley in front of the net.


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