Dominic Moore wants to return to the Bruins next season.

Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Dominic Moore explains departure from Bruins

Ty Anderson
July 19, 2017 - 3:07 pm

The Bruins took a low-risk, $900,000 gamble on Dominic Moore late last summer.

The 36-year-old Moore rewarded the Bruins with 11 goals (his most since 2010-11) and 25 points, and was the club’s second go-to faceoff ace behind Patrice Bergeron, and was a key component of the Bruins’ league-best penalty-killing unit.

The Black and Gold had an interest in bringing Moore back, too, and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney even made an offer (believed to be for similar money and term), but it wasn’t enough to prevent Moore from leaving and instead signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Maple Leafs.

And given the way the Maple Leafs courted him (Moore was called by Maple Leafs center and face of the franchise Auston Matthews early in the free agent process, and Moore then had a face-to-face meeting with Lou Lamoriello and Brendan Shanahan in Toronto), it was almost expected that Moore would find work outside of Boston.

“For me, all things considered, this was a no-brainer,” Moore told Sportsnet of his decision to sign with the Maple Leafs. “Not just because it’s home. More so because it’s a great opportunity to join a great team. I’m happy with how things played out.

“I always find it better to be direct, so it was great to sit down with [the Maple Leafs front office]. I was fortunate this year to have some good options [thanks to] a good season in Boston last year. You want to make the best decision you can.”

So what makes the Leafs, a team that finished below the Bruins a year ago, a better option as Moore continues the search for his first Stanley Cup in his age 37 season?

“They seem to play the game at a speed that other teams aren’t playing. That’s a testament to the coaching staff, what they’re trying to instill in them on a daily basis. The speed and skill of the team is at an incredible level,” Moore said. “Up and down the ice, transitioning both ways. Down and back at lightning speed. It’s more than potential right now. I think they’ve proven what they can do, and hopefully we can build on that.”

There's no sense in denying that fact, as the Leafs possess one of the league's younger cores and with speed for days. It probably didn't hurt that Moore is from Ontario, and that he had some of his best numbers during his time with the Leafs from 2008 to 2009, with 16 goals and 55 points in 101 games with Toronto.

Moore’s loss is not the end of the world for the Bruins -- especially with Noel Acciari, Riley Nash, and Tim Schaller still under contract, and with Sean Kuraly expected to compete for a full-time NHL role next season -- but it does create an organizational need for a left-shot pivot that could take some d-zone or shorthanded faceoffs.

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