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Tribulation and Trial: Bertuzzi-Moore incident 10 years later

TSN.ca Staff

3/6/2014 12:26:13 PM

Bad blood had been building between the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks going into their divisional showdown at GM Place on Mar. 8, 2004.

In a game between both clubs just three weeks earlier, Avalanche forward Steve Moore laid a controversial hit on Vancouver's Markus Naslund, making contact with the Canuck captain's head. Naslund suffered a concussion and missed three games, while Moore was unpenalized for the hit and the National Hockey League took no disciplinary action.

And that set the table for a moment that sent shockwaves throughout the hockey world - and still resonates with the game today.

With the Avalanche up 8-2 on the home team in the third period and the game well out of reach, Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi skated up behind Moore, grabbed the back of his sweater and delivered a round-house swing with his gloved right hand that struck Moore in the head.

Moore then fell head first to the ice under the weight of Bertuzzi, who came down on top of him. Several other players jumped on the pile in an attempt to get Bertuzzi off of Moore.

A pool of blood formed around Moore's head as he lay motionless on the ice. A stretcher was wheeled out and after a delay of nearly 10 minutes, the 25-year-old was taken off for medical attention. Moore was conscious and talking to medical staff when he left the ice on a stretcher and was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken neck and a concussion.

Bertuzzi was given a 10-minute match penalty and, after the game, the NHL suspended him indefinitely pending a hearing.

Video of the attack was shown on television screens across North America - on sports highlights shows, talk shows and national news. Two days after the incident, the NHL suspended Bertuzzi for the remainder of the season and playoffs while the Canucks was fined $250,000 by the NHL.

Now, almost 10 years after Bertuzzi's infamous hit, Moore's multi-million-dollar lawsuit surrounding it is finally approaching a trial in September.

In Tribulations And Trial - a three-part series starting tonight - SportsCentre looks back at the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident and what lies ahead. The first part looks back at the incident itself and how everything unfolded up to that point. On Friday, SportsCentre has a one-on-one interview with Moore discussing what's happened since then. And on Saturday - 10 years to the day after the incident - TSN reporter Matthew Scianitti looks ahead at what to expect in Moore's lawsuit.