VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Todd Bertuzzi was at the
scene of the crime -- literally -- for the first time as an opponent.
Bertuzzi returned to Vancouver as a member of the Anaheim Ducks
for Tuesday night's game against the Canucks, his first visit since
his old team traded the beleaguered winger to Florida two summers
ago as part of a five-player package that brought back star
goaltender Roberto Luongo.
Bertuzzi received a rousing ovation
during a pregame tribute on the arena scoreboard, but he was a minus-2
with no points in the Ducks' 4-0 loss.
Though there were years of good memories in Vancouver for
Bertuzzi to recount, there were also the obvious questions about
his infamous on-ice attack on Colorado's Steve Moore on March 8,
The attack left Moore with broken bones in his neck and a
concussion that still prevents him from playing hockey. Bertuzzi
was later charged with assault causing bodily harm. He pleaded
guilty and was given a conditional discharge and one year's
"That's something I haven't spoken about or can't talk about
right now," said Bertuzzi, who still faces a $19.5-million lawsuit
from Moore and his parents in Ontario. "I can t speak about that
"I spent eight unbelievable years here, I got nothing but great
memories here and that's one thing no one can ever take away from
Bertuzzi actually played another season in Vancouver, recording
25 goals, 71 points and a minus-17 rating as the Canucks missed the
playoffs in 2005-06. He was traded to Florida that summer.
Following the trade to Florida, Bertuzzi was subsequently dealt
to Detroit. This past July he signed a two-year, $8 million
contract with the Ducks as an unrestricted free agent, where he was
reunited with former Canucks general manager Brian Burke.
The incident that will forever link Bertuzzi to Vancouver is
also part of Burke's past, as are the more notable moments.
"I know Todd Bertuzzi is a character person who thought he was
going to the aid of a teammate," Burke said. "... I think
everyone wishes they can turn the clock back, but they can't. I
believe people deserve a second chance."
Both Bertuzzi and Burke expected a warm welcome back for the
former winger, who was a big part in the team's turnaround from
empty seats when he arrived in a trade from the New York Islanders,
to constant sellouts when he was traded.
Bertuzzi had 36 goals and 85 points in just 72 games -- he missed
10 in a suspension for coming off the bench and joining a fight
against Colorado -- in 2001-02. He recorded a career-best 46 goals
and 97 points the following season, but had just 60 points in 69
games, before the Moore attack ended his 2003-04 season with 13
"Todd can't talk about it and I'm not really supposed to
either," Burke said of the Moore incident. "At some point it's
going to be resolved and I think that will be a good day for hockey
in general, not just for Todd and not just for the teams involved.
I think it will be a good day for all of you folks to focus on
something else and all us of to focus on hockey."