Forward makes 1st on-ice appearance since suspension

Updated: December 12, 2004, 11:28 PM ET
Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi returned to the ice Sunday for the first time since being suspended for attacking Colorado's Steve Moore, playing in a charity game that included more than 30 locked-out NHL players.

Bertuzzi received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd during pregame ceremonies. It was the All-Star forward's first public appearance in Vancouver since Aug. 26, when he pleaded not guilty to assault charges for sucker-punching Moore. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 17.

Bertuzzi acknowledged the crowd with a wave of his stick and later assisted on a goal by Vancouver teammate Markus Naslund.

Bertuzzi, who blindsided Moore on March 8, is under indefinite suspension by the NHL. Moore was hospitalized with three fractured vertebrae, facial cuts, post-concussion symptoms and amnesia.

Vancouver's Brad May worked with the Western Hockey League's Vancouver Giants to organize the game, which benefited Canuck Place Children's Hospice. Calgary's Jarome Iginla, San Jose's Scott Hannan and Washington's Olaf Kolzig also took part.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press