SAN JOSE -- For former Sharks forward Dominic Moore, the trip to San Jose as a New York Ranger for Tuesday night's game brings up a range of powerful memories.
Moore was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in February 2012. Shortly after that, his wife, Katie, was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer. After months of treatment, she died Jan. 7 in a Boston hospital at 32.
"It's interesting being back, a little weird being back," Moore, 33, said of being back in San Jose. "There are some good memories, the last memories of a healthy wife. But also obviously other memories when things started to turn with the illness. Kind of a clash of memories. That's just the way it is."
His voice tightening at times, Moore described the Sharks organization as a "great group" for the way it supported him through that period. And he singled out one segment in particular for continuing to help.
"The Sharks' wives and girlfriends, on their own thoughtfulness and generosity, have done some fundraising on behalf of the Katie Moore Foundation. That shows a lot about the kind of people that are over there."
Moore established the foundation in his wife's name shortly to help others dealing with rare forms of cancer.
Acquired as a third-line center, Moore struggled at times as he tried to play while dealing with the news of his wife's illness. He left the Sharks midway through their opening round playoff loss to the St. Louis Blues, and only after the season was an explanation given.
After sitting out the lockout-shortened season that began soon after his wife's death, Moore signed a one-year contract with the Rangers, the team that originally drafted him in 2000, as a free agent. He has averaged 12:47 in his first two games this season and has yet to register a point. So how tough or easy has it been to return to the ice?
"It depends on how you're asking tough or easy," he said. "It's great to be back into the routine of the season and everything like that, having taken so much time off. That part is difficult, trying to get back into the rhythm of everything.
"But," he continued, "I feel good. The goal is just to improve every single day throughout the course of the season and see how it goes.