The lawyer for the Vancouver Canucks in a multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit filed by former NHL player Steve Moore said recent allegations made against the NHL club are "very scandalous."
Alan D'Silva, speaking at a court hearing Monday in Toronto, was referring to recent reports of testimony made in the discovery phase of the lawsuit that stems from an NHL game in March 2004 between the Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche.
The allegation in the discovery testimony came from Todd Bertuzzi, who said then-Canucks coach Marc Crawford pointed to Moore's name on a blackboard in the locker-room between the second and third periods of the game and told his players, "he [Moore] must pay the price."
The Canucks have said that at no time did the organization or its employees, including Crawford, encourage their players to seek retribution on Moore.
Moore was playing for Colorado on March 8, 2004, when bad blood from a previous contest spilled over. Moore was punched from behind by Bertuzzi and fell to the ice before he was taken away on a stretcher. He suffered three fractured vertebrae in his neck and a concussion.
Moore, who has not played professionally since, filed a civil suit two years later.
The NHL suspended Bertuzzi indefinitely for attacking Moore, 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.
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.
Bertuzzi now plays for the Anaheim Ducks.