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Moore attends Bertuzzi civil trial for first time in eight years

Jul 2, 2014, 4:05 PM EST

Bertuzzi Moore

Steve Moore’s civil trial against Todd Bertuzzi began in 2006 but, on Wednesday, Moore attended it for the first time.

“This is our first appearance in front of the trial judge,” Moore’s legal representative Tim Danson said, per CBC. “This case is about Steve’s life and him being here shows just how important this case is to him.”

Moore reportedly spoke “casually” about the case but did not answer any direct questions pertaining to it. What’s more, CBC reports the former Colorado Avalanche forward is now seeking $68 million in damages — up from $38 million — stemming from a 2004 on-ice attack in which Bertuzzi jumped Moore from behind and slammed him to the ice.

Moore suffered a concussion and three fractured vertebrae, and hasn’t played hockey since.

More, from CBC:

 “Steve Moore is unable to obtain employment commensurate to anywhere near his high intellect and Harvard degree,” Danson told the court, referring to reports by career experts he has filed.

But the lawyer for Orca Bay, the former owner of the Vancouver Canucks, argued otherwise.

Alan D’Silva referred to applications Moore made to the Harvard and Stanford MBA programs in 2010 in which Moore writes about receiving $104,000 for work.

Moore wrote the Graduate Management Admissions Test as part of his applications and scored in the 88th percentile.

Danson countered that this was a family business deal and Moore’s role was minimal.

“It’s not income from employment in the normal way,” said Danson.

The Bertuzzi civil trial is expected to start in September and could feature a number of high-ranking NHL officials. Commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly are prepared to testify, and former Canucks owner John McCaw has reportedly been ordered to take the stand.

As evident by 2006 start date, this trial has been a long time in the making — last July, an original Sept. 24, 2012 date was pushed to January 2013, only for that date to be pushed again when Danson learned of a “secret deal” between Bertuzzi and McCaw’s Orca Bay, the former Canucks ownership group.

Here’s more, from CBC:

Bertuzzi and Orca Bay lost an appeal to keep secret the details of an agreement that shares costs between them should they lose the lawsuit brought against them by Moore.

Moore’s lawyer, Tim Danson, learned of the agreement earlier in 2012 and won a decision to have it released to him, but not for public disclosure.

It’s worth noting that, in February of 2012, Bertuzzi signed a two-year, $4.15 million contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings, a deal that bumped his career earnings to nearly $38 million.

Bertuzzi’s deal expired yesterday (July 1), just a few weeks after the Red Wings said they wouldn’t be resigning him. He’s now an unrestricted free agent.

  1. stcrowe - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Moor attended court for the first time, not the trial. The lawsuit has been going on for eight years, not the trial. The trial starts in September. All of the court appearances thus far have been for pre-trial scheduling and motions.

  2. avscup - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Seems like Moore is due for some payout. That was a heinous enough attack and regardless of how you try to justify it, it was a gutless assault on a player who had already answered for whatever perceived transgressions he committed. I didn’t think the hit on Naslund was so bad as to deserve a huge oaf like Bert to sucker him like that.

    • oldboyy26 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Real issue is hits like this happen all the time in all sports. If we say bertuzi should pay, then why shouldn’t the hundreds of other incidents be up for the same scrutiny , regardless of injury.

      • avscup - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        Are you stoned, stupid or did you not see the play?

        Sucker punches from behind that knock out a player and then allow the attacking player to drive his head into the ice happen all the time in all sports?

        Go away if you cannot contribute a logical comment.

      • rsl22 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        The defense is assumption of risk in the US, I assume it’s similar in Canada. When you know the dangers of the activity you engage in and then voluntarily proceed, you’re deemed to have assumed the risk. Playing in the NHL is a pretty obvious danger. Even if he does win, it’ll be difficult to win the damages he’s seeking.

      • sizzle299 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        Assumption of known or reasonably foreseeable risk. What happened was neither.

      • dmarado - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        Sorry, you are 100% wrong. Hits like that never happen in sports, or if they do the offender is arrested.

      • bandree - Jul 3, 2014 at 7:39 AM

        No way! Bertuzzi’s intent was to injure. He was upset and acted in the moment! Did he mean to hurt Moore as badly as he did, probably not, but his actions still paralyzed a man and robbed him of a lot! The video speaks for itself. I’m neither a Red Wings or Avs fan but facts are facts Bertuzzi knew what he was doing and he now realizes just how wrong it was. If he thought he was innocent he wouldn’t be making secret deals with Van. ownership about who pays what when they eventually lose!

    • pj608 - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      Steroids make a mad man crazy

  3. pjblake2redwings - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    I hope Big Bert gets out of this and doesnt have to pay this dirtbag anything. Dont cheap shot someones captain if you arent gonna drop the gloves. Not even Moores teammates liked him.. Hopefully Bert throws another bow at the trial lol

    • thesportsjudge - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Stay classy!

    • rmccleary97 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      1. Please, let’s drop the “it was a cheap shot” claim. Naslund admitted he was at fault for the hit by putting himself in a bad position.
      2. Moore had already “answered the bell” earlier in the game when he was challenged by Matt Cooke.
      3. You have nothing to back up the “Moores [sp] teammates liked him.”
      4. Speaking of dirbags, it wasn’t Moore that stalked Naslund around the ice for most of a shift before grabbing his jersey from behind and sucker-punching him in the back of the head.

      • avfanforlife - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        Well put, but completely wasted on commentors like pjredwing up there.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        you are wholly wrong there…

        1. when that pos cooke challenged Moore, Linden and others had already been declined. Moore picked a useless tit like cooke to fight instead of manning up to someone who was actually his own size. if Moore had fought Linden then bertuzzi would have not have felt that he hadn’t paid a reasonable price.

        Moore should have taken his beating and been done with it. but he acted like the douche that he is and picked a useless guy like cooke to fight.

        2. no one knows for sure when the guys vertebrae were broken. it could have been when his own teammates dog piled him.

        3. the guy was a marginal 4th line kind of player.

        4. his own coach kept putting him out shift after shift, basically sending him a message to “man up”, but he didn’t cuz he’s a douche.

        5. Crawford tried to reign in Bertuzzi, but that oaf Bertuzzi didn’t bother listening to his own coach, so how are the Canucks liable? not like the organization told that idiot to get revenge.

      • bstar28 - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        Who cares if he was a marginal 4th liner, that’s supposed to make this better?

        And yeah his own coach kept putting him out there shift after shift to “man up” for a whopping 7:45 midway through the third (even though he averaged 13:06 that season). It’s not hard to go back and check a box score. Stop making stuff up to justify one of the worst plays in NHL history.

  4. Wineshard - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Jeff Beukeboom is watching this trial I am sure. Maybe Brashear too. Slippery slope if Moore wins anything more than a token amount if you ask me.

    • sizzle299 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      The amount of damages awarded is irrelevant compared to the precedent set if Moore wins. It would allow players to look to the Courts rather than internal league procedures in incidents like these. A slippery slope if there ever was one.

      • avfanforlife - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        Or players just won’t do something as blatantly stupid as Bertuzzi did.

      • mogogo1 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        The slippery slope was already started down when there started being talk about filing assault charges for cases like this. If it’s so bad the authorities are considering filing charges then there’s little question a civil suit could be filed. You can debate whether this particular case crosses the line but without question there’s a line someplace where it’d become a case for the courts and no longer a league matter.

    • rmccleary97 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      There’s big differences in arguing damages between Bertuzzi’s sucker-punch on Moore and Matt Johnson’s sucker punch on Beukeboom.

      — Moore is alleging that there was a conspiracy involving then-head coach Marc Crawford and the Canucks organization to injure him (Moore); Beukeboom is going to have a hell of a time showing that the Kings and then-head coach Larry Robinson called for Johnson’s sucker-punch.
      — Beukeboom was able to play 27 more games after the Johnson hit, before being forced to retire; Moore never played another game.
      — Beukeboom had a history of concussions before the Johnson hit, and suffered another one afterwards (which is what forced him to retire); in court, Johnson’s defense could argue that it wasn’t his sucker-punch that forced Beukeboom out of hockey, but it was other concussions (especially the final one) that did it. Moore didn’t have some history of slamming himself into the ice, breaking vertebrae and rendering him unable to play for long stretches of time before “magically” being able to play again.

      Slippery slope? Only if the on-ice act was especially egregious, and had prior circumstances that led up to the incident – and even then, to get to Moore’s level there has to be some proof of an organized plot to attack the targeted player. Maybe you get the 1st part on some of these, but #2 is sorely lacking for many of them and #3 is probably lacking entirely.

  5. credible316 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    I can’t wait to read the headline: Bertuzzi files for bankruptcy.

  6. dt58 - Jul 2, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    It was a dirty play that led to an unfortunate accident, but 68 million? I agree that Moore should be compensated but that is absurd. Average NHL career length (according to Quanthockey.com) is 5-6 years. Don’t think Moore was a 12 mil/year guy. And before you give me the “what about the rest of his life” speech, athletes know the risk thus the extremely high contracts and the holdouts for longer deals. If he wasn’t willing to “gamble” on getting played very well for playing a game, maybe he should of went to work for the “family business”. He still scored in the 88 percentile in the Graduate Management Test and made over 100k in 2010. How many on here can say that?

    Should he be compensated? Probably but he’s not going for compensation, he’s going for “my great grandkids won’t have to work” money.

    • lidstrom5 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      lets all milk it :P

  7. lidstrom5 - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    maybe half the retired players should do the same for scott stevens and his past head hunting they were pretty close to this ordeal ……. i said close not the same also so dont everyone who gets there tounge all knoted take it to harshly ……..

  8. 34defense2014 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    I guess 140 thousand isn’t enough salary for this idiot!! Welcome to the real world Moore!! You sucked anyways!! Dirty player as well!! And yes this kind of stuff does happen all the time in all sorts if sports! So he got hurt! At least you can still walk moron! Unlike my Buddy Who is paralyzed from the chest down from playing Hockey!! My heart doesn’t bleed for Moore one once!! Get a job loser!!!

  9. 950003cups - Jul 3, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    The hit from behind happens all the time in all contact sports. The results are always different. Bertuzzis lawyers will argue that Moore is aware of cheap shots in the game and that the result, while unfortunate, was not outside the realm of possibilities in that situation.

    While I don’t agree that’s true. Makes no difference. Average jurors are average Joe’s. Most think hockey is WWF on skates. Bettuzzi’s camp will have a field day with their ears.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      word.

  10. dtownbeatdown - Jul 3, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    I find it hypocritical Chara gets away with taking someone’s head off. And everyone calls Montreal fans idiotic because they wanted charges on Chara. But then this event happened when most of you were 12 years old and you think this is different? Intent to injure is intent to injure, regardless if it is career ending or not. There is no consistency with the NHL or (most of) the fans.

    Bertuzzi is guilty, but so are the 5 guys that dog piled on top of Moore. And I think that will be the main argument by Bertuzzis lawyers. No way moore gets Beruzzis lifetime earnings.

    • wingsdjy - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      I don’t think Chara’s intention was to try to decapitate Pacioretty. Looked to me like it was a standard side-check into the sideboards that unfortunately carried Pacioretty into the stanchion.

  11. mikestanley86 - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    I am an Avs fan, nonetheless I have never been a fan of Bertuzzi. However, it is not a realistic request for Moore to sue Bertuzzi for that sum of money. Especially considering that the total earnings in his career have recently totaled 38 mil, the original amount Moore was seeking in damages. Moore’s career never got to come to fruition because of Bertuzzi’s lapse in judgement, and Moore is definitely entitled to damages. But to bankrupt someone in the process would not be justice.

  12. hsnepsts - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    68 million? That’s not right and its not fair. If Moore wins this, he’ll be making more money from not playing hockey than Gretzky and Lemieux combined made playing hockey. This is not what his potential future earnings were worth. Its a ridiculous claim.

    I have no problem if extreme over-the-top actions that happen on the ice bleed over to the justice system. Hockey is still a game, and people need to be protected from violent assaults. But there have been dozens of incidents as bad as this. from the sound of many comments, it seems like there are a lot of short memories out there.

    Kariya. Lafontaine. Savard. Brashear. Boulerice. Downie. Hunter. Chris Simon. Chara. Torres. Cooke. Clarke. stick any of these names into youtube followed by ‘cheapshot’.

    I suppose the real outcome of all of this is that hockey players will all be required to carry insurance against causing ‘in-game’ bodily harm, and any time a player gets hurt badly enough that it affects future earnings, they can try and sue.

    So the point is, Moore is trying to prove that there was conspiracy? Google Clarke’s slash in the summit series. I’m quoting here:

    Years later, assistant coach John Ferguson admitted: “I called Clarke over to the bench, looked over at Kharlamov and said: ‘I think he needs a tap on the ankle.’ I didn’t think twice about it. It was Us vs. Them. And Kharlamov was killing us. I mean, somebody had to do it, and I sure wasn’t going to ask Henderson.”

    Clarke broke his ankle. Deliberate and premeditated. Kharlamov was never the same again. So should Clarke have to retroactively pay millions now to Kharlamov?

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