March 8, 2004 is a date that will live in infamy for the National Hockey League.
Then-Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi viciously attacked Colorado Avalanche forward from behind, driving the latter’s head into the ice after a punch to the head. The result was three fractured neck vertebrae, facial cuts and a concussion for Moore, who never played hockey again. Criminal assault charges were then filed against Bertuzzi, and a civil lawsuit against Bertuzzi and the Canucks which was later settled confidentially.
Bertuzzi was also suspended for the rest of that year’s regular season and playoffs. After being reinstated, he would later would plays several season for the Detroit Red Wings.
Another former Red Wing forward, Brad May, was a central figure in that incident. It was May who put a bounty on Moore’s head for a prior incident in which he concussed Canucks captain Marcus Naslund, leading to revenge being sought by the Canucks.
However, May seemed to downplay the seriousness of Moore’s injuries while speaking on a recent episode of Sportsnet 650’s Greenmen Radio, hosted by Adam Forsythe and Ryan Sullivan.
“Todd Bertuzzi got railroaded by the National Hockey League,” explained May. “Obviously there was a terrible thing that happened in the game of hockey, it was reported that way.”
“There was a player injured, obviously Steve Moore. It’s gone through the legal realm, and he’s been settled in court civilly. So now I can talk about it.”
“I can tell you this, Steve Moore is perfectly fine,” May said. “Two and a half weeks after he was hit, Steve Moore was in a pool, wasn’t wearing a neck brace, and was having fun. You know why I know that? Because we knew this thing was going to go to another level in the courts.
“And by the way, no different than insurance fraud, when a guy says I can’t go to work for workman’s comp, they catch him because he’s roofing his house, and he’s doing things, and he just doesn’t want to go back to work. That was the case for Steve Moore, and I believe that.”
Does May have a point, or is he going too far? He then doubled down on his views:
“I’m not happy about the night. I’m not happy about the way it was or how it ended. I feel bad for both of them. I feel bad for everyone that was involved in this. I feel bad for fans that watched it.
“But Steve Moore’s okay today, so we don’t have to worry about him. And I do feel bad that nobody can actually be honest and tell the truth about exactly what happened and how they feel because people of [political correctness]. And I do believe that. I think Vancouver Canucks fans deserve so much more, because Todd Bertuzzi was such a great player at that time.”
– – Quotes courtesy of Rob Williams of The Daily Hive Link