Bertuzzi's past resurfaces at Olympics

Updated: February 16, 2006, 8:53 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

Curious timing on the announcement of the multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by Steve Moore against Todd Bertuzzi, the Vancouver Canucks and the team's parent company in Toronto on Wednesday.

Todd Bertuzzi
Bertuzzi

Toronto lawyer Ted Danson told The Canadian Press the suit was filed in advance of a two-year statute of limitations running out on filing papers relating to the case, presumably the part of the suit relating to the alleged conspiracy that led to the March 8, 2004 attack on Moore.

Danson also told the wire service he would have preferred that news of the suit not have leaked out. Imagine some element of this case not immediately becoming known to the public?

If Moore and Danson really weren't interested in sticking it to Bertuzzi and, by extension, the Canadian Olympic team, then why not file the suit a month ago? Or two? Why file it the day that Canada opens its Olympic tournament with Bertuzzi playing a starring role?

Could it be that Moore is interested not only in reaping financial compensation for what appears to be a career-ending injury suffered at the hands of the Vancouver forward, but also exacting some measure of revenge no matter how petulant it makes them look?

If Danson and Moore were hoping to embarrass Bertuzzi and his moment in the Olympic sun, they have only succeeded in embarrassing themselves in doing the almost impossible, making Bertuzzi look more and more like the tragic figure in this sad little drama.

As for Bertuzzi, he said the latest development won't affect his play during the Games.

"You just deal with it and move on,'' Bertuzzi told reporters. "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. 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."

Don't mess with Wendell
Krissy Wendell is nothing if not tough as nails.

The captain of the U.S. women's team once had her thumb severed after a high school hockey practice in Minnesota. The injury took place when Wendell, who played boys hockey until she was 15, was horsing around in the hallway between dressing rooms with teammates from her Park Center High School team.

"I just tripped and fell," she recalled in a recent interview with ESPN.com.

Her teammate's blade cut through tendons, ligaments, "everything," Wendell said. By the time she arrived at the hospital the digit had become completely detached. "It was the whole deal."

It didn't hurt all that much, Wendell added. "I was in shock."

Doctors were able to re-attach the thumb and, while she has some trouble manipulating a video game control, the injury has done little to hamper what has been a stellar hockey career, including being named captain of the U.S. team last October.

The best part of the thumb tale?

Wendell attended the prom the following year with the player whose skate was involved in the accident. Later Wendell, who is also in the Little League Hall of Excellence as the first female to start in the Little League World Series, would play in the 2000 state championships with a broken shin.

Tough? "Probably lucky," she said. "I'd go that route more."

Injury update: Will Forsberg and Hasek play?

On the superstar injury front, Friday will be a telling day for both Dominik Hasek and Peter Forsberg. Both are expected to test injuries to see if they're able to play. If not, both are expected to withdraw from the tournament.

Hasek left midway through the first period of the Czech Republic's opening game against Germany after going down to make a series of pad saves. He complained of a sharp pain between his legs and did not return. An MRI revealed an injury to the abductor muscle and doctors said there was a 30-40 percent chance that he would play again at the Olympics.

In his absence Thursday, the Czechs were upset 3-2 by Switzerland. Both teams are 1-1.

Forsberg has a groin injury that has seen him miss the last eight NHL games. He flew to Torino not expecting to play in Sweden's first two games and will test the groin at practice Friday, the tournament's first off-day. The Swedes were humbled 5-0 by the Russians in the second day of the tournament. They are 1-1 and their chances of medaling will decline precipitously if Forsberg is unable to play.

"Peter will skate tomorrow. We will issue a statement on whether he will play or not for the rest of the tournament," coach Bengt-Ake Guftafsson said after the loss to Russia. "He is making progress every day and we are confident he will be able to help us."

Scott Burnside is an NHL writer for ESPN.com.