|Born||September 22, 1978 |
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)|
|Played for||Colorado Avalanche|
|NHL Draft||53rd overall, 1998|
Steve Moore (born Steven Francis Moore on September 22, 1978) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey center who played in parts of three National Hockey League (NHL) seasons with the Colorado Avalanche.
He is widely known for receiving a career-ending injury as a result of an on-ice attack from behind by then-Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi in 2004.
Steve spent 4 years with the Harvard Crimson along with his older brother and younger brother (in which they became just the 6th-ever brother trio to play for the same NCAA Division I hockey team at the same time). He led his team in scoring all three seasons at Harvard prior to 2000-01 when he was edged out by his younger brother Dominic.
He concluded his collegiate career ranked 18th amongst the top-20 all-time career point scorers at Harvard with 45 goals, 78 assists for 123 points in 122 games played.
Steve was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft in the second round as the 53rd overall pick. He played in 69 games for the Avalanche from 2001 to 2004, scoring five goals and seven assists (all of which were scored in the latter season).
The Todd Bertuzzi Incident
On February 16, 2004, during a Vancouver-Colorado game, Steve injured Canucks team captain Markus Naslund with a hit while Näslund was reaching for a puck through centre ice.
He contacted Naslund's head in the play, but penalty was called in connection with the hit. Näslund suffered from a concussion and a bone chip in his elbow as a result and missed three games. He never returned to top ability following the vicious elbow.
The NHL ruled that the hit was legal and did not fine or suspend Moore. Canucks head coach Marc Crawford and general manager Brian Burke publicly criticized the non-call by the referees on the incident.
Vancouver players indicated that they would get even with Steve with left winger Brad May stating that he would put a bounty on Moore's head.
During the next game between the Canucks and Avalanche held in Denver, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL executive vice-president Colin Campbell attended the game, which ended in a tie and saw no major incidents break out.
However, on March 8, 2004, during another rematch between the Avalanche and Canucks, things went differently.
In the first period, Steve fought Vancouver player Matt Cooke in a fairly even brawl, and served the 5-minute penalty for fighting. The Avalanche would go on to build up a large lead of 8-2 in a fight-filled game. Late in the third period, Todd Bertuzzi was sent onto the ice.
After failing to instigate Moore to fight, Bertuzzi skated after Steve, punched him in the back of the head and fell on top of him, followed by Moore's teammate Andrei Nikolishin and Bertuzzi's teammate Sean Pronger.
Steve was knocked out and lay motionless for ten minutes before being carried off on a stretcher. The combination of the hit, fall and piling-on had resulted in three fractured neck vertebrae, facial cuts and a concussion.
Bertuzzi was assessed a match penalty for his actions, which carries an automatic indefinite suspension under NHL rules.
On March 11, 2004, the NHL announced Bertuzzi would remain suspended for at least the remainder of the Canucks' season, including any playoff games. The IIHF subsequently honoured the NHL suspension, preventing Bertuzzi playing in any international tournaments or leagues during the 2004–05 NHL lockout.
On August 22, 2004, Steve was released from a Denver-area hospital. He wore a neck brace for a year and then began physical therapy for his neck injury and concussion.
On February 17, 2005, he filed a civil lawsuit against Bertuzzi. Also named in the lawsuit were Brad May (who was quoted as saying that there would "definitely be a bounty on Moore's head" after the game), Brian Burke and the Canucks organization.
The lawsuit was thrown out in October 2005, with the judge suggesting that the lawsuit be re-filed in Canada where the incident took place. The lawsuit was re-filed in Canada in February 2006.
On August 8, 2005, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that Bertuzzi would be allowed to play again at the start of the 2005–06 NHL season.
In the league's decision, they cited many reasons for ending the suspension, such as:
- Bertuzzi serving a suspension of 20 games, which at the time tied for 4th longest in NHL history (13 regular season games, 7 playoff games)
- Bertuzzi's forfeited salary ($501,926.39 USD)
- Significant uncertainty, anxiety, stress and emotional pain caused to Bertuzzi's family
- The commissioner's belief that Bertuzzi was genuinely remorseful and apologetic for his actions
On August 12, 2005, Brian Burke (formerly Vancouver's general manager who was now serving in the same capacity with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks) had made an offer to Steve. It was a two-way contract that would have paid him $475,000 US in the NHL and $75,000 if the player suited up for Portland, the Ducks' American Hockey League affiliate.
His lawyer Tim Danson described the offer as a self-serving attempt by Burke (who was a defendant in the lawsuit) to mitigate potential legal damages, by attempting to suggest Steve was a minor league player.
Further, Danson said that Steve would return to the Avalanche except that he was not medically cleared to play hockey which Brian Burke was well aware of and described it as adding insult to injury.
On August 15, 2005, Bertuzzi broke his 17-month-long silence by expressing a desire to move on with his life, saying: "I'm sure just like Steve Moore and his family, it's been difficult for both parties. I know I wish that day never happened. It's been some tough times, but I've got good family and good friends and good peers in the league that have helped me get over the hump and move forward and come through it."
On November 8, 2005, Steve's Toronto-based lawyer, Tim Danson said that Steve was skating and doing regular workouts, but he continued to suffer concussion-related symptoms. Steve continued working out for some years afterward, but he had to abandon his comeback attempt when it became apparent he would never be medically cleared to return to the ice again.
On February 16, 2006, Steve filed a civil suit in the province of Ontario against Bertuzzi, the Canucks, and the parent company of the Canucks, Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment for the loss of his NHL career, in his Rookie Year. The lawsuit was seeking $15 million in pecuniary damages for loss of income, $1 million for aggravated damages, and $2 million for punitive damages.
Steve's parents (who were watching their son on television when the attack happened) are also suing, seeking $1.5 million "for negligent infliction of nervous shock and mental distress."
His lawyer filed the suit one day before its two-year limitation expired, saying it was because Steve did not want to file the suit and waited until the last minute while he tried to attain medical clearance to resume his career.
Bettman attempted to get Bertuzzi and Moore to agree on an out-of-court settlement in the C$19,500,000 lawsuit filed by Moore. Bertuzzi offered $350,000 to settle the case, an amount which was called "an insult" by Moore's lawyer.
On March 28, 2008, Bertuzzi filed a lawsuit against Crawford, alleging that he was contractually obliged to obey Crawford and that therefore Crawford shares responsibility for the injury to Moore. In response, Crawford later stated that Bertuzzi acted in "direct disobedience" to orders from the bench to get off the ice before attacking Steve.
On January 14, 2013, The Toronto Star reported that both Moore v. Bertuzzi, et al. and Bertuzzi v. Crawford would begin (after having been postponed several times) in April 2013. Both cases will be held in the Ontario Superior Court before a six-person jury.
On January 4, 2012, Steve dropped his third-party lawsuit against Crawford. In the month of October 2013, it was announced that the court date for Moore v. Bertuzzi, et al. will begin on September 8, 2014.
On July 2, 2014, Steve's lawsuit was amended, seeking $68 million in damages, up from $38 million. On August 19, 2014, it was announced that an out-of-court settlement had been reached in his lawsuit, but the terms of the settlement are confidential.
|All-ECAC Hockey Rookie Team||1997–98|
|Ivy League Rookie of the Year||1997-98|
|Harvard Rookie of the Year||1997-98|
|Harvard Scoring Leader||1997-98|
|ECAC Rookie Scoring Leader||1997-98|
|ECAC First Team All-Rookie||1997-98|
|First Team All-Ivy League||1997-98|
|Harvard Scoring Leader||1998-99|
|Harvard Most Valuable Player (MVP)||1998-99|
|First Team All-Ivy League||1998-99|
|First Team All-ECAC||1998-99|
|Harvard Scoring Leader||1999-00|
|First Team All-Ivy League||1999-00|
|Ivy League Champions||1999-00|
|Harvard Hockey Captain||2000-01|
|Rookie of the Year, Hershey Bears||2001-02|
Steve, his older brother Mark Moore and his younger brother Dominic Moore all played hockey at Harvard University.
Dominic currently plays in the NHL for the Boston Bruins while Mark played in the minors before retiring in 2003.