Ex-NHL player Moore frustrated $38 million lawsuit still in courts
MONTREAL — It has been 10 years since Steve Moore's NHL career ended with an attack by former Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi.
The 35-year-old Moore says he still suffers from headaches and low energy even if he feels better overall and wants to get on with his life.
But there has been no closure for the former Colorado Avalanche center, whose $38 million lawsuit against Bertuzzi and the Canucks is still in the courts after numerous delays.
A trial date has been set for Sept. 8.
Moore, a rookie on a powerhouse Avalanche team, still remembers that game March 8, 2004, and the devastating effect it had on his career.
“I think about it at times like this,” Moore said Friday in an interview with The Canadian Press. “When the anniversary comes around, it's hard not to reflect on the impact this has had on my life, which is dramatic.”
It all started Feb. 16, 2004, when Moore flattened Canucks captain Markus Naslund with an open ice hit that put Vancouver's scoring star out with a concussion but was deemed legal by the NHL.
During the third period of a 9-2 Colorado win, Moore was challenged, but he turned away.
Bertuzzi skated up behind him, tugging on his jersey, then punching him from behind and falling on top of him as other players piled in.
Moore lay motionless on the ice in a pool of blood before being taken off on the ice on a stretcher. The diagnosis was a concussion and three fractured vertebrae.
Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, which cost him about $502,000, and he didn't play during the 2004-05 lockout season. But he was reinstated for the 2005-06 season and has since continued his career.
He also pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of assault causing bodily harm and was sentenced in 2006 to a year of probation and 80 hours of community service.
Asked if he has forgiven Bertuzzi, Moore spoke instead of being frustrated at the repeated delays in the trial and the resistance put up by the opposing side in the lawsuit.
“I'm a very forgiving person,” said Moore, who lives in Toronto. “Everyone saw what happened on March 8, 2004, but what they haven't seen in what's gone on since then. ...
“It's not a situation that happened 10 years ago and it's over and everything's been resolved and moved on. There's nobody that would like to move on more than me. Every day, I try to move on, and I have moved on in other areas of my life, but this isn't over.”