Jun 24, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) checks Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (27) during the second period in game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Two For Roughing: NHL News And Notes [July 28, 2013]

Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Is it just me, or is this offseason going slower than usual? The anticipation of the upcoming 2013-2014 season is at it’s peak during this time of year. We haven’t seen NHL action since June, and heavy withdrawal is slowly starting to set in for many diehards, including myself. Luckily, there are ways to counteract this withdrawal. Maybe going to the beach, relaxing by the fire, or other things of that nature. But, when you lay in bed and call it a day, your mind snaps back to hockey. Hockey, hockey, hockey. It’s all we can think about. But, I don’t want to make anybody sadder than they already are. So let’s just get to it.

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After Martin St.Louis was snubbed by Canada in the 2010 Olympics, he has turned his focus on Sochi in 2014. Dominic Moore is happy to be back where he started. He began his NHL career with the Rangers on November 1, 2003 with a three-assist performance against the Montreal Canadiens. It looked like something beautiful was born. But, little did Moore know, his career would be filled with highs and lows, and many bumps in the road. His NHL journey took him to Piitsburgh, Minnesota, Toronto, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Tampa Bay, and San Jose. He’s been in the playoffs four times, which includes back-to-back runs to the Eastern Conference Final in 2010 and 2011. Moore sat out last season to spend time with his wife Katie, who unfortunately passed away in January from liver cancer. But, Moore is making a comeback, and I think this will be the first time a team will have two Moore’s. Confusion awaits.

Josh Harding is now our topic of discussion. His story is simply remarkable. When he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he was having a difficult time gathering information about the disease. So he started the charity Harding’s Hope. “There is a poor perception of people diagnosed with MS. People immediately think wheelchair and death. I want to be a role model for others diagnosed with MS by showing that this will not come between me and my goals.” Harding was diagnosed in October 2012, one of 2.1 million people worldwide. He missed three months of the 2012-2013 season due to complications with his medication. Harding came back and played five regular season games and all five of Minnesota’s first-round Stanley Cup Playoff loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. He was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is given to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” His goal is to come back with a vengeance in 2013-2014 and play to the best of his abilities.

Now we head to Chicago. The Hawks have extended Coach Quenneville’s contract until the 2016-17 season. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of this organization. We love everything about Chicago. It’s a great sports town and I feel privileged to be part of something special here, and winning here makes it even more enjoyable. From top to bottom, there’s a million reasons why it’s such a perfect spot here.” Luckily for the Blackhawks, they are getting something special in Coach Q. He’s the only coach to lead two Blackhawks teams to the Championship. He has a career NHL record of 660-389-162. A win total that leads all active coaches and ranks sixth in League history. Will he be able to work his magic again? That is the question.

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