August 15, 2005

Bertuzzi does not want brutal attack to define career

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Vancouver Canucks
forward Todd Bertuzzi has broken his silence over a brutal
blind-side punch which resulted in criminal charges and may
have ended the career of a fellow player.

"There's no way I can change what happened in the past but
I'm going to do what I can to make sure my career and my life
are not defined by what happened," an emotional Bertuzzi told
reporters on Monday.

He was speaking to the media for the first time since the
NHL last week lifted his 17-month suspension for punching Steve
Moore of the Colorado Avalanche in a game on March 8, 2004.

Bertuzzi missed the rest of the 2003-04 season and
playoffs, forcing him to forfeit more than $US 500,000 in

The league did not play the 2004-05 season because of a
labor dispute but Bertuzzi was barred from joining other NHL
players in European leagues and was prevented from playing in
two international hockey tournaments.

He pleaded guilty to an assault charge and was given a
conditional discharge last year by the British Columbia
Provincial Court, a rare case in which sporting violence has
resulted in criminal proceedings.

Bertuzzi said he had maintained a low profile since the
incident partly out of respect for Moore.

Moore is still recovering from a neck fracture and has said
he may never be able to play again.

The Colorado player's lawyer has said that Moore is
disappointed at Bertuzzi's NHL reinstatement.

Bertuzzi said he had tried several times to contact him
since the incident but Moore had not responded.

All-Star forward Bertuzzi was in Vancouver attending an
orientation camp for Canada's ice hockey team.