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Dominic Moore skates into Stanley Cup Final as a true hero

Every player has worked hard. Every player has made their sacrifices to get to the final best-of-seven series where they will compete for the prize they have dedicated their whole lives for, but only New York Rangers forward Dominic Moore has worked in a different way, off of the ice.

Dominic Moore celebrates his game winning goal in Game 6 against the Montreal Canadiens
Dominic Moore celebrates his game winning goal in Game 6 against the Montreal CanadiensPhoto by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

If you’re unsure of who to root for in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, there’s one guy that might make you feel good about cheering for him for the next few weeks, regardless of where you reside.

Before he was the Rangers’ Game 6 hero, scoring the lone goal that propelled his team to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 1994, Dominic Moore spent 18-months off of the ice, needing a break from work to take care of his bride of less than two-years who had been diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer known as Firbolamellar Hepatocelluar Carcinoma. Just nine months of a battle tougher than any game the Rangers will skate in, Katie passed away at the age of 32.

“It’s been a long, pretty amazing journey, so far, and hopefully it continues,” Rangers’ Dominic Moore said according to the Washington Post. “I owe a lot to my teammates for helping me get through this year and a half. I just feel tremendously proud to be a part of this team, especially amid the circumstances of going to the Stanley Cup Finals.”

Moore returned to the NHL in 2013 after his hiatus to care for and grieve for his wife, signing a one-year contract with the team that drafted 95th overall in 2000. In his NHL Playoff return, Moore has tallied three goals and four assists for the Rangers where he has exhibited the strength he described Katie to have had through her short battle with cancer.

“She continued to go about her life,” Dominic Moore told Jeremy Schaap on ESPN in an interview. “She wouldn’t let anything slow her down.”

There’s no doubt that Moore has been skating with a heavy heart, one that may seem to gain weight without his love there as the days go on and the team advances. But the heart goes a long way, no matter the load and for Moore it was the heart that took him out of the game, and the heart that brought him back. It doesn’t appear that anything will be slowing him down now.