The lawyer for the Vancouver Canucks said Friday that former coach Marc Crawford will testify he yelled at Todd Bertuzzi to get off the ice before the infamous attack on Steve Moore.
During the pre-trial hearing in Toronto in Moore's multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Bertuzzi and the Canucks, lawyer Alan D'Silva said Crawford will testify he tried to call Bertuzzi back to the Vancouver bench before the hit on Moore.
Todd Bertuzzi now plays for the Anaheim Ducks.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)
Master Ronald Dash, who is presiding over the hearing, said it's the first he's heard of Crawford's planned testimony.
Tim Danson, Steve Moore's lawyer, immediately got up after Da Silva's statement and pointed out that nowhere in Crawford's statement to the police did he say he was yelling at Bertuzzi to get off the ice.
D'Silva's disclosure comes on the heels of a claim made by Bertuzzi during discovery testimony that Crawford pointed to Moore's name on a blackboard before the hit and said, "he [Moore] must pay the price" — an allegation D'Silva has called "scandalous."
The Canucks have said that at no time did the organization or its employees, including Crawford, encourage their players to seek retribution on Moore.
The lawsuit stems from a March 8, 2004 game between Vancouver and the Colorado Avalanche during which the Canucks' Bertuzzi jumped Moore, punching him from behind and then falling on top of him.
Moore suffered three fractured vertebrae in his neck, a concussion and facial cuts. He hasn't played since. Bertuzzi now plays for the Anaheim Ducks.
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.