Report: Crawford said Moore 'must pay the price' before Bertuzzi attack

Updated: December 6, 2007, 5:58 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Todd Bertuzzi's on-ice attack on Steve Moore might have been ordered by former Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford, according to a report aired on CBC's "The National'' Wednesday night.

Bertuzzi grabbed Moore from behind during a 2004 game, punched him on the side of his head and then landed on top of Moore, driving his head into the ice. The bloodied Colorado player was removed on a stretcher.

Moore sustained a broken neck and a concussion. He filed a lawsuit against Bertuzzi, the Canucks and their parent company in Ontario in February.

A statement of claim filed in court by Moore's lawyer and obtained by CBC alleges that Crawford pointed to Moore's name and number on a board in the Canucks' locker room during the second intermission of that game and said "... [Moore] must pay the price."

In an accompanying document, Moore's lawyer claims Crawford's statement was disclosed by Bertuzzi while under oath, and by Canucks general manager Dave Nonis.

A month earlier, during a Feb. 16 game in Denver, Moore checked Canucks forward Markus Naslund and that led to talk of retribution against him, culminating with the Bertuzzi hit a month later.

Crawford, now Los Angeles' coach, didn't want to talk about the report after the Kings' 4-1 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday night.

"I don't think this is the forum to be talking about that," he said. "We've got enough of our own issues here with the Los Angeles Kings. Those are the things that I'm concerned about. I'm not concerned about anything that's said otherwise.''

Bertuzzi, who signed a two-year, $8 million contract with Anaheim in July, refused to comment when approached after the Ducks' 4-1 win over Buffalo on Wednesday night.

The NHL gave Bertuzzi a 17-month suspension for the Moore hit. He gave up about $502,000 in salary, and missed 13 regular-season games and the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2004. He also was prevented from playing hockey overseas during the lockout season.

Bertuzzi was later charged with assault causing bodily harm. He pleaded guilty and was given a conditional discharge and one year's probation.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press