It’s been more than seven years since one of the darkest moments in recent hockey history took place—but former Colorado forward Steve Moore will have his day in an Ontario Superior Court next year. Moore filed a $38 million lawsuit against current Detroit Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi, the Vancouver Canucks and Orca Bay, which owned the Canucks at the time, on Thursday. The court date is slated for September 24, 2012 and that’s if Bertuzzi is still playing in the NHL. If he is retired, the date will be set for October 22, 2012.
On March 8, 2004 in Vancouver, the host Canucks were losing 8-2 to the visiting Colorado Avalanche. Midway through the third period, Bertuzzi, who played for the Canucks at the time, sucker-punched Moore and drove his head into the ice. The NHL suspended Bertuzzi for the rest of the regular season and playoffs, with suspension carried over the lockout season of 2004-05. He also pleaded guilty to assault in criminal court, served one year probation and performed community service. As for Moore, he suffered a concussion and a broken neck. He has not played a game since the injuries.
The situation arose from a previous match a couple of weeks prior to the melee. Moore delivered a hit in the head to Markus Naslund. Then-Canucks head coach Marc Crawford, and the rest of the team, were irate that no call was made against Moore. After the game, members of the Canucks were vocal about getting back at Moore the next time the two teams met. Bertuzzi filed a lawsuit against Crawford in 2007 for encouraging him to go after Moore, which Crawford denies.
Reportedly, Moore still has recurring headaches from the concussion and was ordered by his doctors to retire from the NHL. As for Bertuzzi, he didn’t play pro hockey for 17 months, lost money in endorsement deals, and paid fines for the attack. His revenge on Moore in Vancouver was a retaliation that went very, very bad. As he is about to enter his 16th season in the NHL with the Red Wings, this could be a distraction to Bertuzzi. No matter what the outcome will be and regardless how much money will be awarded in the lawsuit (if any), Steve Moore hasn’t fully recovered and his dream of having an NHL career was taken away from him. As for Todd Bertuzzi, not only does he have this dark cloud over him for the rest of his career, he will have to live with this for the rest of his life.
About the Author: Alex lives in Hockeytown, USA. He is a huge Red Wings fan going back to the 1985-86 season when they were dead last with 40 points. He has seen the transition from the 'Dead Wings' to one of the top franchises in sports. You can also follow him at twitter.com/alexmuscat73.