Canucks' Bertuzzi reinstated

By Times Staff
Published August 9, 2005

NEW YORK - Todd Bertuzzi is back in the NHL. Steve Moore's return is not so certain.

Bertuzzi was reinstated by commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday, 17 months after the Vancouver forward's blindside punch left Moore with a broken neck and a murky playing future.

Bertuzzi was suspended for the final 13 regular-season games of the 2003-04 season and the Stanley Cup playoffs. His banishment continued throughout last season's lockout, which kept Bertuzzi from playing in the World Cup of Hockey in September and the past two world championships. He also was barred from any European league last season.

"I find that the appropriate discipline to be imposed for Mr. Bertuzzi's conduct on March 8, 2004, is the suspension that has been served to date," Bettman said in a statement.

The suspension cost Bertuzzi $501,926.39 in salary. He is due to earn more than $5.2-million this season.

As per terms of his criminal probation, Bertuzzi will not be permitted to play in any game in which Moore is an opponent. Moore, who may never play again because of the injury, was not re-signed by the Avalanche and is an unrestricted free agent.

"He is quite disappointed, given he is unable to resume his NHL career and may never resume his NHL career," Tim Danson, the lawyer representing Moore, told the Canadian Press. "It's disappointing to him that Mr. Bertuzzi is able to resume his career at this particular time. Steve has an uncertain future. He's got health challenges to deal with."

Wayne Gretzky, executive director of Team Canada, immediately invited Bertuzzi to Canada's Olympic Orientation camp to be held later this month.

GRETZKY EAGER TO COACH: Wayne Gretzky, the most prolific scorer in league history, was formally introduced as Phoenix's coach, hoping to revive a perennially disappointing team. "I heard people say, "Why would he want to do this?' My answer is "Why not?' It is what I love. It's what I know," Gretzky said.

BLUE JACKETS: Columbus re-signed Rick Nash to a four-year contract after he became the youngest player in league history to lead it in goals, tying Calgary's Jarome Iginla and Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk with 41 in 2003-04.

CAPITALS: Left wing Ben Clymer, a member of Tampa Bay's Stanley Cup champion team in 2004, signed.

HURRICANES: Former Panthers center Matt Cullen agreed to terms on a one-year contract.

RED WINGS: Chris Osgood agreed to a one-year, $900,000 contract.