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Dominic Moore: ‘Deciding not to play was the right thing to do’

Jul 26, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT

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Dominic Moore is closing in on his return to National Hockey League action.

He missed the entire 2013 season, after his wife, Katie, tragically passed away in January after a battle with liver cancer.

It was a decision he does not regret making, however he does not deny how difficult it was stepping away from the game and the league he has played in since 2003.

“Deciding not to play was the right and only thing to do,” Moore told NHL.com correspondent Mike Brophy.

“I knew if I wasn’t going to be able to give it 100 percent of my focus, I didn’t want to do something halfway and not be all-in. Taking time off was the right thing to do when you don’t believe you’ll be able to perform up to the standard you expect from yourself. It was the right call to make, although it was extremely difficult.”

Moore signed with the New York Rangers on July 5. It was a one-year deal worth $1 million.

It’s also the same team Moore made his NHL debut with back on Nov. 1, 2003.

“No doubt, coming back to New York is definitely what I wanted to happen, it was my first choice for a variety of reasons,” Moore said back in July. “I’ve always been drawn back there. I’m grateful that it’s come to fruition.”

On Thursday, a number of NHL players and fans traded in hockey sticks for ping-pong paddles in the second annual Smashfest Charity Ping-Pong Challenge, raising more than $100,00 for for The Katie Moore Foundation, which, according to NHLPA, “was established in honour of Dominic’s late wife, Katie, and various brain injury concussion research foundations.”

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