Bertuzzi on lawsuit: 'Deal with it and move on'
TORINO, Italy -- Team Canada forward Todd Bertuzzi said a second lawsuit filed against him by former NHL player Steve Moore for an on-ice attack two years ago won't affect his play in the Olympics or with the Vancouver Canucks.
"You just deal with it and move on," Bertuzzi said Thursday, two days after the suit was filed in Ontario Superior Court.
Moore, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche, hasn't played since March 8, 2004, when Bertuzzi grabbed him from behind, punched him in the head and drove his head into the ice. Moore was left with three fractured neck vertebrae, a concussion and other injuries after one of the most violent on-ice attacks in NHL history.
Moore initially sued in Denver, but a judge ruled the case should be handled in Canada because the incident happened there.
Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of that season and the playoffs. Because of the lockout, he was only reinstated to NHL games this season, when he has faced repeated questioning about the attack. His selection to Canada's Olympic team created a major stir.
"It's been a long year, it has. But it's something I've got to deal with, and we'll take care of it," Bertuzzi said. "As for being here right now, that has nothing to do with it. We've got a job to do while we're here, and all the players are going to take care of it."
Tim Danson, a lawyer for Moore, said he filed the suit this week to stay ahead of a two-year statute of limitations.
Canada coach Pat Quinn said Bertuzzi told him the suit would not hurt his play in Torino, where the Canadians have won their first two games.
"It's all about trying to maintain our focus," Quinn said. "We aren't going to let outside things at this point interfere with what we're trying to do here."
Moore seeks $15 million in lost wages plus damages from Bertuzzi. Orca Bay, the Canucks' parent company, and the NHL team are also named in the suit.
Bertuzzi lost about $502,000 in salary after being suspended in 2004. He was charged by Vancouver authorities with assault and was sentenced to probation and community service after pleading guilty.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press