Click photo to enlarge
San Jose Sharks Dominic Moore (18) wearing a protected mask for broken nose during a break in the action against St. Louis Blues in the second period of game three of the 1st round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, April 16, 2012. (Josie Lepe/Staff)

When the Sharks acquired center Dominic Moore before the February trade deadline, they hoped the veteran would be a key addition for a long postseason run. Instead, Moore struggled and didn't even play in the final two games of the Sharks' first-round playoff exit against St. Louis.

But Tuesday, Moore revealed that his family has been dealing with a personal crisis that might have contributed to his lack of production. In a statement released through the Sharks, Moore said that his wife, Katie, was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer near the end of the season and underwent surgery at an undisclosed California hospital in April.

"While it was disappointing to not be able to compete with my Sharks teammates in the playoffs, my wife's condition and care come first and I want to thank the Sharks organization, my teammates and their families for the love and support that has been shown to Katie and I during this difficult time," Moore said in the statement. "We continue to pursue the best treatment and care for Katie.—

He did not elaborate on the current health of his wife. A team spokesman said the Moores, who do not have children, will have no further comment at this time.

"We think so much of Dominic and Katie," added Sharks general manager Doug Wilson. "As they go through this, we realize that there are some things that are much bigger than the game of hockey. And this is one of them."


Advertisement

The Sharks dealt a second-round pick in the upcoming draft to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Moore and a seventh-round pick on Feb. 16. Wilson was counting on Moore -- who had four goals and 15 assists in 56 games with Tampa Bay this season -- to provide help on the team's weak penalty-kill unit, which ranked near the NHL bottom.

Moore, an Ontario native who played at Harvard and with eight other NHL teams, also arrived with the reputation of being a versatile player who was strong in the face-off circle.

But Moore didn't have a big impact with the Sharks. He was limited to zero goals and six assists in 23 regular-season games. He went scoreless in three playoff games against the Blues. His most memorable moment in the postseason came in Game 2 when his nose was broken by St. Louis' Vladimir Sobotka in a fight. An angry Sharks coach Todd McLellan called it a "sucker punch."

Moore didn't play in Games 4 and 5. At the time, that appeared to be a coach's decision. But after the series, Wilson said Moore had not traveled with the team to St. Louis for the season-ending game because of a family matter.

Now that reason is clear.

Moore, 31, is an unrestricted free agent.

Contact Mark Emmons at 408-920-5745.