Two weeks ago, Steve Moore’s civil suit against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks was settled.
Well, for everyone but Steve Moore.
His lawyer, Tim Danson, said that the suit wasn’t actually settled until Thursday. “It was my legal opinion that there was no binding and enforceable settlement until the language of the settlement documents was agreed to by all parties and I was in possession of executed settlement documents. That happened today,” he said.
With that, a salacious trial was avoided, as Moore sought $68 million in damages for the 2004 attack by Bertuzzi on Moore, then with the Colorado Avalanche, which ended his hockey career in his rookie season.
Moore released the following statement. If you were wondering if he would address his attacker or the team for which he played, the answer is “no.”
The legal case for the loss of my NHL career is over. I have accepted a settlement agreement which has now been finalized and signed by all the parties.
This day comes with mixed emotions. I am extremely thankful for the compassion and encouragement of so many people over the past decade. These years have been very difficult for me and my family. The injuries I sustained in my rookie year, the years I spent trying to return to my NHL career, and dealing with the loss of my career and the ensuing legal case, have been long and trying experiences. While nothing replaces the loss of one's dream, I am happy my family will no longer be burdened by an unresolved legal case, and I am grateful to be able to move forward.
I thank the fans and the public who have supported me so passionately and tirelessly, not just across Canada, and the U.S., but around the world – your support has meant more than you can imagine. I thank the people who supported me in this legal case; your courage, and integrity are an inspiration. I thank former Chief Justice of Ontario Warren Winkler for helping with this settlement. Finally, I thank my friends, and especially my family, for your unwavering love and devotion which kept me going over these last ten years.
I look forward to continuing to bring more attention and resources to the prevention and treatment of concussions and other head and neck injuries in sport, through The Steve Moore Foundation (www.stevemoorefoundation.org).
While my own hockey career was cut short, my love for the game has never diminished.
That last part’s rather touching. Maybe Moore has compartmentalized it, and sees the actions of Bertuzzi and the Canucks as something that isn’t part of the game. Maybe he sees that aspect of the NHL having been diminished, so we don’t have a bounty culture any longer. Who knows?
As for Bertuzzi, Moore was bound by the agreement not to disparage him. And what was he supposed to say when Bertuzzi’s statement was the apex of generic:
"I have never spoken about this case. I won't speak of it now. To all my fans, to all the teams and teammates I have played with and to all my friends, thank you. Thank you."
Wow. Deep, man.
There’s always going to be a part of me that wishes this went to trial, to see this aspect of hockey culture put under the microscope and to finally get a sense of whether Bertuzzi was a perpetrator or a pawn.
But reading Moore’s statement, there’s a serenity and finality to it. I wish him well. This has been a decade of extended hell for him.