U.S. judge backs order for ex-Canucks owner to testify in Moore lawsuit

A U.S. federal judge has ruled a subpoena can be issued compelling the former owner of the Vancouver Canucks to testify in a lawsuit arising from Todd Bertuzzi's career-ending attack on Steve Moore.

John McCaw Jr. still on the hook for half of any liability found against team

Tim Danson, seen in January, has been representing former NHL player Steve Moore for several years. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

A U.S. federal judge has ruled a subpoena can be issued compelling the former owner of the Vancouver Canucks to testify in a lawsuit arising from Todd Bertuzzi's career-ending attack on Steve Moore.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice asked the U.S. court earlier this year to subpoena John McCaw Jr., who is based in Seattle, to testify in Toronto.

Moore's lawyer, Tim Danson, says he hopes McCaw will accept the rulings of the Ontario Superior Court and the United States District Court and appear as ordered at the trial slated to begin in September.

Moore is suing Bertuzzi and the Canucks for $38 million for a 2004 on-ice hit that left Moore, then a Colorado Avalanche player, with a concussion and three fractured vertebrae.

Danson had argued a jury should be able to hear McCaw answer whether he knew Canucks players were gunning for retaliation against Moore for a hit weeks earlier on former Canucks' captain Markus Naslund that resulted in a concussion.

Bertuzzi has alleged the Canucks' then-coach Marc Crawford urged his players to make Moore "pay the price," while Crawford has claimed Bertuzzi disobeyed instructions to get off the ice before Moore was attacked.

Danson has said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly have voluntarily agreed to testify.

Danson has suggested that McCaw fostered a corporate culture that may have at least implicitly approved such an attack, including having as the president and general manager Brian Burke, who was "unapologetic about promoting violence in hockey."

McCaw no longer owns the Canucks, having sold his company Orca Bay, now known as Canucks Sports and Entertainment. But he maintains a "very significant financial interest" in the outcome of the lawsuit, as he is still on the hook for half of any liability found against the team, which Danson said was a condition of the sale.

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