NHL: Settlement reached in Moore-Bertuzzi lawsuit

TORONTO — A settlement has been reached in Steve Moore’s lawsuit against NHL forward Todd Bertuzzi, more than 10 years after the bloody, on-ice attack ended Moore’s career.

Geoff Adair, a lawyer for Bertuzzi, confirmed the case was “settled in its totality” but said Tuesday the terms are confidential. The multimillion-dollar lawsuit had been set for trial Sept. 8.

“We are pleased that the resolution of this matter allows the parties to turn the page and look to the future,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email.

Messages to Moore’s lawyer, Bertuzzi’s agent and the Canucks were not immediately returned.

On March 8, 2004, Bertuzzi, then playing for the Vancouver Canucks, hit Moore from behind. The Colorado Avalanche rookie crashed face first to the ice, leaving him with a concussion and fractured vertebrae.

Moore alleges the Canucks had put a bounty on him following his check that injured their captain, Markus Naslund. Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to criminal assault causing bodily harm. He was sentenced in December 2004 to one year of probation and 80 hours of community service.

There has been years of legal wrangling since. The civil case was filed in Ontario court in 2006 but was slowed by delays.

Moore, now 35, never fully recovered from his injuries and was unable to keep playing. In March, a day before the 10th anniversary of the play, he told The Canadian Press he still has headaches and low energy.

“I lost my entire career in my rookie year,” he said. “I think any player put in that situation would do the same thing. I can’t recover anything else. I can’t recover my career, the experience of living out my dream from the time I was 2 1/2 years old of playing in the NHL.”

It all started on Feb. 16, 2004, when Moore flattened Naslund with an open-ice hit that left Vancouver’s scoring star with a concussion. The play drew no punishment from the NHL.

Major retaliation was expected. Vancouver’s Brad May was quoted as saying there was a “bounty” on Moore. But when the teams next met on March 3, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in the house, there were no incidents.

Not so on March 8, a 9-2 Colorado victory. Moore squared off in a fight against Matt Cooke in the first period, and it appeared that was the end of it. But things got nasty in the third period.

Moore was challenged again. He turned away. Bertuzzi skated up behind him, tugging on his jersey, then punched him from behind and fell on top of him as others piled on. Moore lay motionless on the ice in a pool of blood before being removed on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.

Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, which cost him about $502,000. He didn’t play during the 2004-05 lockout season but was reinstated for the 2005-06 season. He has since continued his career, most recently with Detroit.

More in Sports

Culture change leads Everett football to winning ways

The coach’s challenge and the players’ response has the Seagulls on the verge of the playoffs.

Seahawks’ Clark reflects on teammate Avril’s injury

The young defensive end and protege of the veteran sees how suddenly careers can change.

Stanwood wrestler Phillips commits to North Carolina

The senior verbally commits to join the Tar Heels after receiving interest from other major programs.

Silvertips struggling to turn shots into goals

Everett is creating more scoring chances than its opponents but needs to convert chances into goals.

Thursday’s prep stars of the night

Elizabeth Perenchio, Edmonds-Woodway volleyball Perenchio, a junior setter, dished out 44 assists… Continue reading

BLOG: Some WHL tidbits from a day between games

The Everett Silvertips skated Thursday following a Wednesday loss and in anticipation… Continue reading

Thursday’s prep sports results, recaps and links

Here are Thursday’s prep sports results, links and recaps: CROSS COUNTRY Cascade… Continue reading

Cougars to face top Pac-12 rushers in 3-week span

Washington State will have their hands full as they prepare for the conferences top rushing threats.

Huskies coach Petersen applauds work ethic of walk-on

John Gardner, a walk-on, is catching the eye of the Huskies head coach.

Most Read