Dominic Moore knew being traded to the Maple Leafs from the Minnesota Wild last season would transform his professional career.
No longer would the six-foot, 193-pound centre be able to step out to the corner store for a loaf of bread without being stopped for an autograph or to listen to a rant about the Boys in Blue. When he was playing with the Wild, he might go an entire season without being recognized.
But Moore said yesterday there is something to be said about how the denizens of Leafs Nation feel entitled to know even the smallest detail of every player's life.
"I grew up in Toronto and I was a part of that Leaf nation," Moore said. "The Leafs were always my favourite team and my favourite players were always Leaf players."
The intense media glare, however, has taken even Moore aback since his arrival here in January.
But he accepts that, in Leafland, third-line centres garner the kind of attention that first-liners would die for in non-traditonal hockey markets.
Yesterday, for example, Moore was repeatedly asked how he would deal with incoming general manager Brian Burke. Burke was the GM for the Vancouver Canucks in 2004 when Todd Bertuzzi viciously attacked Dominic's older brother, Steve -- then playing for Colorado -- breaking his neck and ending his promising NHL career.
Dominic Moore said yesterday that, while the Bertuzzi hit continues to affect his whole family, he has no ill-feelings towards Burke.
"It's not really an issue for me," he said. "I think, obviously, it is something that (Burke) will address at some point, but I have no issue with Brian directly and I doubt that he has any with me."
In fact, Moore said he thinks Burke's arrival will propel the Leafs in the right direction.
"I'm looking forward to meeting him," Moore said.