Court documents allege Marc Crawford played role in hit by Bertuzzi
Court documents obtained by CBC News contend that Todd Bertuzzi's infamous sucker-punch of Steve Moore cameafter former Vancouver Canucks head coach Marc Crawford pointed at a dressing room board and said "he must pay the price."
Bertuzzi was an all-star forward for the Canucks when he hit Moore from behind 8:41 into the third period of a 9-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on March 8, 2004.
Moore suffered three broken vertebrae in his neck and a concussion, has not played since, and is suing Bertuzzi for upward of $38 million.
Bertuzzi was asked 1,300 questions under oath, and, according to a proposed amended statement of claim filed on Moore's behalf in an Ontario court, Bertuzzistated at his discovery that Crawford pointed to Moore's name and sweater number on a board in the Canucks dressing room and told his players, "He [Moore] must pay the price."
Crawford's alleged comment was also confirmed in sworn testimony from Canucks general manager Dave Nonis, the statement said.
The Bertuzzi hit in March happened after Canucks captain Markus Naslund was knocked unconscious with an open-ice hit by Moore to the head when the teams met at Denver's Pepsi Center on Feb. 16.
Moore was neither penalized nor suspended for the hit.
Crawford, now coaching the Los Angeles Kings, is not a defendant in the Ontario lawsuit filed by Moore.
The NHL suspended Bertuzzi indefinitely for attacking Moore on March 8, and didn't reinstate him until Aug. 8, 2005 — exactly 17 months later.
Bertuzzi remained under suspension throughout the 310-day NHL lockout and was prohibited from competing in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, two world championships and in European pro leagues.
He also forfeited $501,926.39 US in salary and hundreds of thousands more in endorsements.
Criminal charges filed against Bertuzzi in Vancouver resulted in a guilty plea and a sentence of one year's probation plus 80 hours of community service.
Moore later filed a lawsuit in Denver against Bertuzzi and other notables, including Canucks ownership, but it was dismissed.
With Bertuzzi in Turin, Italy, playing for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics, Moore filed a second lawsuit on Feb. 15, 2006.
At the time, he was seeking $18 million for lost income, aggravated and punitive damages, but is now demanding $38 million in an amended claim.
With files from the Associated Press