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Steve Moore

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Steve Moore
Position Centre
Shot Right
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
210 lb (95 kg)
Teams Colorado Avalanche
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born September 22 1978 (1978-09-22) (age 38),
Thornhill, ON, CAN
NHL Draft 53rd overall, 1998
Colorado Avalanche
Pro Career 2001 – 2004

Steve Moore (born September 22, 1978) is a former Canadian professional ice hockey centre, perhaps best known for his role in a series of controversial incidents with the Vancouver Canucks that ultimately led to the end of his playing career.

Brothers Moore Edit

Steve, his older brother, Mark, and younger brother, Dominic, all played four-years at Harvard University. Because of their relative closeness in age, all three were able to play in the same year for Harvard during the 1999–2000 season. Dominic also went on to play in the NHL, and is a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

NHL playing career Edit

He was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft in the second round, being 53rd pick overall. Moore played in 69 games for the Avalanche from 2001 to 2004, scoring five goals and seven assists before being seriously injured by Todd Bertuzzi who at the time played for the Vancouver Canucks.

Due to continued post-concussion syndrome, Colorado opted not to give him a qualifying offer after his rookie contract expired. To date Moore has not returned to professional hockey.

Moore, via his lawyer Tim Danson, filed a civil lawsuit against both Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks in a Colorado court. It was dismissed as the judge felt that British Columbia was the more appropriate location.

The Bertuzzi incident Edit

On February 16, 2004, during a Vancouver-Colorado game, Moore injured Canucks team captain Markus Näslund by checking him in the head area while Näslund was over extending for a puck ahead of him with his head down. No penalty was called on the play, but Näslund suffered a concussion and a bone chip in his elbow as a result of the hit, and missed three games. Moore's hit on Näslund drew much criticism from the Canucks and their fans, but the NHL ruled that the hit was not illegal and did not fine or suspend Moore. Canucks head coach Marc Crawford and general manager Brian Burke publicly criticized the non-call by the referees on the incident. Vancouver players indicated that they would get even with Moore, with left winger Brad May stating that he would put a bounty on Moore's head.

During the next game between the Canucks and Avalanche held in Denver, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL executive vice-president Colin Campbell attended the game, which ended in a tie and saw no major incidents break out.

However, on March 8, 2004, during another rematch between the Avalanche and Canucks, things went differently. In the first period, Moore fought Vancouver player Matt Cooke in a fairly even brawl, and served the 5-minute penalty for fighting. The Avalanche would go on to build up a large lead in a fight-filled game. Late in the third period, Todd Bertuzzi was sent onto the ice. After failing to instigate Moore to fight, Bertuzzi skated after him for a long period before punching Moore in the head from behind and falling upon him along with several other players from both teams. Moore's head was driven into the ice during the fall, causing three fractured neck vertebrae, facial cuts and a concussion. Moore was knocked out, and lay motionless for ten minutes before being carried off on a stretcher.

Bertuzzi was immediately suspended by the NHL for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs. The suspension also barred him from playing in any international tournaments or leagues during the 2004–05 NHL lockout. Commissioner Gary Bettman reinstated Bertuzzi for the 2005–06 season.

On August 22, 2004, Moore was released from a Denver-area hospital. He wore a neck brace for one year and then started physical therapy for his neck injury and concussion.

On February 17, 2005, Bertuzzi was named in a lawsuit filed by Moore, who has not played at all since the injury. Also named were Brad May (who was quoted as saying that there would "definitely be a price on Moore's head" after the game), Brian Burke and the Canucks team. The lawsuit was thrown out in October 2005, as the Colorado judge felt that British Columbia was a better venue for the suit. Moore plans to appeal the lawsuit.

On August 8, 2005, the NHL announced that Bertuzzi would be allowed to play again at the start of the 2005–06 NHL season. In the league's decision, they cited many reasons for ending the suspension, such as:

  • Bertuzzi serving a suspension of 20 games, which at the time tied for 4th longest in NHL history (13 regular season games, 7 playoff games)
  • Bertuzzi's repeated attempts to apologize to Moore personally
  • Bertuzzi's forfeited salary ($501,926.39 )
  • Lost endorsements (approximately $350,000.00, both figures in United States dollars)
  • Significant uncertainty, anxiety, stress and emotional pain caused to Bertuzzi's family
  • The commissioner's belief that Bertuzzi was genuinely remorseful and apologetic for his actions

On August 15, 2005, Bertuzzi broke his 17-month-long silence by once again admitting to his mistake and expressing a desire to move on with his life. "I'm sure just like Steve Moore and his family, it's been difficult for both parties. I know I wish that day never happened. It's been some tough times, but I've got good family and good friends and good peers in the league that have helped me get over the hump and move forward and come through it.

On November 8, 2005, Moore's Toronto-based lawyer, Tim Danson, said that Moore was skating and doing regular workouts, but continued to suffer concussion-related symptoms.

On February 16, 2006, Moore filed a civil suit in the province of Ontario against Bertuzzi, the Canucks, and the parent company of the Canucks, Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment seeking $15 million in pecuniary damages for loss of income, $1 million for aggravated damages, and $2 million for punitive damages. Moore's parents, who were watching their son on television when the attack happened, are also suing, seeking $1.5 million for "for negligent infliction of nervous shock and mental distress."(all figures in Canadian dollars). Moore's lawyer filed the suit one day before its two-year limitation expired, denying there was any connection between the timing and the 2006 Winter Olympics

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman attempted to get Bertuzzi and Moore to agree on an out-of-court settlement in the $19.5 million lawsuit filed by Moore. Bertuzzi offered $350,000 to settle the case, an amount which was called "an insult" by Moore's lawyer.

On March 28, 2008, Bertuzzi filed a lawsuit against Crawford, alleging that he was contractually obliged to obey Crawford and that therefore Crawford shares responsibility for the injury to Moore. In response, Crawford later stated that Bertuzzi acted in "direct disobedience" to orders from the bench to get off the ice before attacking Moore.

Career statistics Edit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1995-96 Thornhill Islanders MetJHL 50 25 27 52 57 18 4 5 9
1996-97 Thornhill Islanders MetJHL 50 34 52 86 52 13 10 11 21 2
1997–98 Harvard University ECAC 33 10 23 33 46
1998–99 Harvard University ECAC 30 18 13 31 34
1999–00 Harvard University ECAC 27 10 16 26 53
2000–01 Harvard University ECAC 32 7 26 33 43
2001–02 Hershey Bears AHL 68 10 17 27 31 8 0 1 1 6
2001–02 Colorado Avalanche NHL 8 0 0 0 4
2002–03 Hershey Bears AHL 58 10 13 23 41 5 0 1 1 4
2002–03 Colorado Avalanche NHL 4 0 0 0 0
2003–04 Hershey Bears AHL 13 4 4 8 6
2003–04 Colorado Avalanche NHL 57 5 7 12 37
NHL totals 69 5 7 12 41

References Edit

External links Edit

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