Since the promotion of former head coach Sheldon Keefe to the same position with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies have been searching for his replacement. The team has decided to go outside of the organization to tab their next bench boss, a rare move in-season, and have announced that Greg Moore has been named head coach. Moore was hired away from the USHL’s Chicago Steel midway through his second season with the team.
Moore, 35, is very familiar with developmental hockey. A young head coach, Moore was himself an NHL prospect not long ago. The Maine native played for the U.S. National Team Development Program in the early 2000’s and then played his college hockey at home at the University of Maine. He was drafted by the Calgary Flames after his freshman year, but his rights were traded to the New York Rangers before he turned pro. Moore made his NHL debut with the Rangers in 2007-08 overall made ten NHL appearances with the Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets over five pro season in North America. He also played a leadership role with nearly every AHL club he played for. Moore moved to Germany in 2011 and extended his playing career another four years before calling it quits in 2015. He immediately jumped into the coaching ranks, becoming an intern assistant coach with the USNTDP. After two seasons as an intern, he became full-time in 2017-18 only to be named head coach for USHL rival Chicago a year later.
Moore is well-regarded among young NHL coaching prospects. His Steel team went all the way to the Clark Cup in his first season and recorded a 52-25-5 record overall in 82 games with Moore behind the bench. His name had already been in the mix for possible NCAA openings this off-season, but he gets an even better deal with an AHL promotion mid-season. The Leafs organization has seemingly had an eye on Moore for some time, as they invited him to be a guest coach at development camp this summer and worked quickly to hire him just ten days after the firing of Mike Babcock and promotion of Keefe. Moore will be in the spotlight with the Marlies, but has a bright future ahead of him following this major career move.