One-time Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore and former Vancouver Canucks winger Todd Bertuzzi met in Toronto on Monday for a court-ordered mediation hearing in an effort to prevent a lawsuit from heading to court.
It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two since Bertuzzi's infamous sucker punch during a March 8, 2004, game in Vancouver that ended Moore's career.
Moore, 29, and his family filed a lawsuit seeking $38 million for loss of income and damages.
Bertuzzi, who now plays for the Calgary Flames, and Moore attended the meeting with their lawyers, as well as former Vancouver coach (now Hockey Night in Canada analyst) Marc Crawford and his representatives.
Tim Danson, Moore's lawyer, said "all the parties" involved were present for the mediation, but the content of the talks remains confidential.
"The purpose behind mediation for all cases is to facilitate a resolution of the dispute," Danson said Tuesday.
Moore's lawsuit names Bertuzzi, the Canucks and former team owners Orca Bay as defendants.
Bertuzzi, 33, has issued a third-party claim contending that Crawford should pay any damages awarded to Moore, who suffered three broken vertebrae in his neck and a concussion during the attack.
The third-party claim argues Crawford should be named in the suit for allegedly urging his players, including Bertuzzi, to make Moore "pay the price" when Crawford "knew or ought to have known that this was likely to result in injury to Moore."
Crawford claims Bertuzzi acted in "direct disobedience" to instructions from the Canucks bench when he attacked Moore, broke his neck and ended his career, according to court documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Crawford also says the Vancouver coaching staff was trying to get Bertuzzi off the ice before the incident.
Bertuzzi was charged with assault in June 2004 after a four-month investigation into the incident. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation and community service.
The NHL suspended Bertuzzi indefinitely for attacking Moore and didn't reinstate him until Aug. 8, 2005, 17 months later.
Bertuzzi signed a free-agent contract with the Flames on July 7 after spending the previous two seasons with Florida, Detroit and Anaheim.
According to Danson, no court date has been set for the lawsuit and the examination for discovery process has not concluded.