Reports: Bertuzzi, Moore face-to-face in mediation hearing

Updated: December 16, 2008, 4:40 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Calgary Flames forward Todd Bertuzzi, former NHL player Steve Moore and their respective legal teams met Monday in Toronto in an effort to resolve an ongoing lawsuit, according to media reports in Canada.

It was the players' first face-to-face meeting since March 8, 2004, when Bertuzzi sucker-punched Moore and drove his head into the ice during a game, according to the Calgary Sun and the Calgary Herald.

Todd Bertuzzi

Bertuzzi

The meeting was an attempt to reach a settlement before the suit, filed by Moore, goes to trial. Also present were mediator Tom McGrenere and Bertuzzi's former coach, Marc Crawford, according to both Calgary newspapers.

"The purpose behind mediation for all cases is to facilitate a resolution of the dispute," Tim Danson, Moore's lawyer, told the Toronto Sun on Tuesday, adding that the discussions were confidential.

Moore, who was with the Colorado Avalanche, suffered three fractured vertebrae in his neck, a concussion and facial cuts, and has not played since.

Bertuzzi, who was with the Vancouver Canucks at the time, was charged with assault in June 2004. He was sentenced to community service and one year of probation after he pleaded guilty. He was suspended by the NHL, and reinstated after 17 months -- time that also included the 2004-05 lockout.

Moore subsequently filed a lawsuit seeking $38 million in damages and lost income, naming Bertuzzi, the Canucks and the team's then-parent company, Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, as defendants.

Bertuzzi filed a "third-party claim" in early 2008, alleging Crawford, who was the Canucks' coach, ordered him to retaliate against Moore for Moore's hit on then-Vancouver captain Markus Naslund two weeks earlier.

Bertuzzi's filing claimed that Crawford should be included in the responsibility for any damages awarded. Crawford, in a defense filing, alleges Bertuzzi ignored the coaches' orders to return to the bench and went after Moore instead.

No one from the Moore or Bertuzzi camps spoke to the media afterward the meeting.

On Tuesday, however, Danson said that no court date for the lawsuit has been set. No other mediation session has been scheduled.

Bertuzzi, who has played with the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks since, joined the Flames in the offseason with a one-year, $1.95 million deal.

He has maintained silence on the case since joining the Flames. Bertuzzi is expected to rejoin his teammates Tuesday night for their game against the Blues in St. Louis.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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