Friday, February 18, 2005

Steve Moore Files Lawsuit

Former Avalanche fourth-liner Steve Moore has filed a civil lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi and members of the Vancouver Canucks. In the Avs' March 8th 9-2 win over the Canucks, frustrations boiled over during the third period and Bertuzzi sucker punched Moore from behind, driving his head into the ice and rendering him unconscious, with a broken neck and other facial injuries. The attack was in retaliation to Moore's February 16 knee-to-head hit on Markus Naslund, which left the Canuck captain with a concussion, causing him to miss three games. Naslund was coming up the middle of the ice with his head down, so low that Moore just skated into his path and kneed him in the head. It was a borderline-dirty play, but the Canucks saw it differently. After the game, Canucks publicly vowed retribution. Brad May, who is a defendant in the lawsuit, said "There's definitely a bounty on his head. It's going to be fun when we get him." Bertuzzi is accused of civil conspiracy, assault, battery, and negligence. Others named in the lawsuit include Canucks forward Brad May, Canucks coach Marc Crawford (who was also coach of the Avs when Claude Lemieux hit Kris Draper from behind, face-first into the boards), former Vancouver GM Brian Burke, plus Canucks team ownership. The NHL was not named in the suit, a classy move by Moore to not further beat the dead horse the NHL has become. Moore is currently a free agent, and has been unable to skate or exercise since the attack, and doctors say the prospects of his hockey career are "uncertain." The lawsuit's success likely hinges on whether it can be proven that Moore's career is over. In December, Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm, a plea deal that left him with only a conditional discharge (no criminal record). He was suspended for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs following the attack, and has yet to be reinstated by Gary Bettman. This has kept him from being able to play in Europe, as the IIHF is honoring the NHL's active suspension.


At 2/18/2005 02:12:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

He may not have named the NHL in the suit but the League will be dragged through the mud anyway. All the more because this case will take place in the US. It will get very ugly and will only hurt the League. It's too bad that it has to be done. The whole situation never should have happened but maybe a lawsuit like this will have long-term benefits for the game, even if it hurts it now.

At 2/18/2005 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Brian List said...

It was pretty much automatic that he was going to file suit and do it against the people he did. Including the NHL was more optional, and he choose not to, so good for him. Less "mud" on the NHL, but of course anything involving Moore/Bertuzzi is going to attract bad press. The point is that it could be a lot worse, if he had directly named the NHL in the suit. But saying it could be a lot worse implies it's bad either way, and that's the sad state of the NHL today. Accepting bad over worse.

At 2/18/2005 08:08:00 PM, Blogger Christy Hammond said...

I don't really understand why other players and the Canucks' coach is in the lawsuit, but I don't fault Moore for suing Bertuzzi.

Outside of sports, lawsuits are quite common after serious injury that removes the person from work temporarily or permanently. If Moore's career is in fact over, I hope he receives *fair* compensation- what that is, I don't know.


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