TORONTO, ON — If "Marlies and ME" wasn't so close to the name of a hit movie, it might be a good way to describe Greg Moore's hockey career.
Maine is where Moore came from, and his future lies with the Toronto Marlies.
The team introduced Moore on December 1 as the new head coach. The Marlies are the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs.
Before he was an up-and-coming coach, Moore was just a kid who loved playing hockey in his hometown of Lisbon, Maine. He continued to dazzle local fans through college at the University of Maine. As a Black Bear, he won the Hockey East title in 2004 and contended for the Hobey Baker Award in 2006.
Moore chased his dream of playing professionally for several years, mostly at the AHL level, although he also made 10 appearances in the NHL.
When Moore made the leap into coaching, he landed a job with the Chicago Steel of the USHL in 2018. He set a high bar in his first year by leading the team all the way to the Clark Cup Final, only to fall just short of the championship. In 82 games with the Steel, he posted a record of 52-25-5.
The dominoes that would decide the next step in Moore's career began to fall last month. The Toronto Maple Leafs were in the midst of a six-game losing streak and dropping fast in the Atlantic Division standings. Deciding a new direction was needed, the team fired head coach Mike Babcock on November 20 and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe, who had been coaching the Marlies.
The Marlies relied on their assistant coaches to hold down the fort for ten days until Moore took over. The team came through for him immediately with a 5-3 home win that night against the Utica Comets.
Without the support of local fans, the Marlies lost their next game on the road to the Rochester Americans, 4-0. But a return to Toronto meant a return to form with back-to-back wins over the San Antonio Rampage by scores of 3-2 and 4-1.
The Marlies will try again for their first road win under Moore in a rematch with the Utica Comets on Wednesday, December 11.