October 15, 2015

Marc Moro

With 768 career penalty minutes in 236 games in four seasons of OHL junior hockey, and another 1052 minutes in 498 career AHL games, it becomes obvious how defenseman Marc Moro got his nickname "Mad Dog."

Originally an Ottawa draft pick (27th overall in 1995, never played for Senators) and then an Anaheim prospect (he played only one game with the Ducks), Moro came to Nashville just prior to the 1998-99 season.

In 1999-2000 he finally got his first look with the Predators, playing in eight games. He earned 40 minutes in penalties in that short time frame, but he also became a quick fan favorite. Fans by the penalty box always greeted him by waving dog bones.

Injuries shortened Moro's first tenure with Nashville.

"Having the fans behind me was an extra bonus," he remembered. "To have that taste of it made me work even harder to get back. Last year I got injured and there were some different things going on. It got frustrating, but having that experience before and wanting to get back to it kept me driving."

Moro returned the following season and played very consistently in training camp. Thanks to a concussion to the more skilled prospect Pavel Skrbek, Moro was able to make the Preds opening day roster.

"There is a lot of depth on defense in this organization and a lot of new players coming in," Moro said. "I knew if I kept working hard the shot would still be there for me. It has paid off for me now and hopefully it will continue to do that."

More had been working very hard to prove he could be more than just a scrapper.

"I worked on specific speed training and it seemed to pay off," Moro said. "I got some ice time with a couple of players every day and we just worked on puck skills over and over again. I had to bring those skills up to the next level. My drive, determination and work ethic have always been there. I had a taste and I know what it takes at this level. I just worked everyday to try to get better."

Coach Barry Trotz was intrigued by what Moro offered.

"Marc has all of the intangibles," said Trotz. "He is not the prettiest guy out there in terms of his overall game, but he is very effective. He is physical. You know what you are going to get from him every night. He makes guys pay a price if they want to come into the slot area or if they try to come into the defensive zone. He is good to his teammates in terms of sticking up and being a presence. Work ethic and character are high trait values of Marc Moro."

Moro and Trotz said all the right things, but ultimately Nashville's depth did not allow things to work out. Moro would only play in six games that season, and thirteen the following year. He was back to the farm team.

Moro was traded to Toronto where he became a regular on the farm team's blue line over the next five years. He would only be rewarded with two more games in Toronto.

Moro retired in 2007 with 30 NHL games played, earning 77 penalty minutes and never picking up a point.

No comments: