SUN Hockey Pool

Moore makes strides

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

It was 35 minutes into Steve Moore's long-awaited press conference and, to his credit, he had maintained his composure like a trooper. Seated in front of about 50 reporters who were stuffed into the Bay St. offices of his lawyer, Tim Danson, Moore, speaking publicly for the second time in 10 months, calmly addressed the March 8 attack by Todd Bertuzzi that left the Colorado Avalanche winger splattered on the GM Place ice in a pool of his own blood.

No, there would be no civil lawsuit launched against Bertuzzi -- not yet, anyway -- "because my primary focus is on my rehabilitation and getting back to playing the game I love."

No, he has not heard directly from Bertuzzi or any other member of the Vancouver Canucks.

And no, he has no plans to deal with the Canucks power forward, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to assault causing bodily harm and received a conditional discharge.

Then came The Question, one which finally allowed the world to get a quick, albeit telling, peek at his vulnerability.

"Can you describe the emotions when you saw a tape of the incident for the first time?" Moore, 25, was asked.

"I can't," he said. "It wouldn't do it justice to try to put it in words."

He didn't have to. His glazed eyes told the whole story.

When the public last saw Moore just weeks after the incident, it was frightening. Sitting alongside Avs general manager Pierre Lacroix, Moore, wearing a neck brace, was a bruised shell of his former self.

Yesterday, flanked by brothers Dom and Marc, Moore, appeared to be close to normal. But it's what you don't see that continues to plague him.

"My neck injuries are coming along well," he said. "I've made improvements but still suffer from significant post-concussion symptoms which prevent me from living a fully normal life. I'm still restricted to a very low level of physical activity.

"I'm just not the same person as I was, at this time. But I'm definitely optimistic and very determined to recover fully."

Moore, who is without an NHL contract, refused to slag Bertuzzi or the league's handling of the incident.

"I think the NHL appreciates that I've tried to keep a very low profile and not bring any more negative attention over this," Moore said. "I haven't made any statements in 10 months and I think they appreciate that."

Moore declined comment when asked about what support the players' association had provided.

"In situations such as this, involving two players in a legal situation, it is our policy to not provide comment," responded NHLPA spokesperson Jonathan Weatherdon.

What lies ahead? Moore's priority is to one day return to an NHL which will frown upon a repeat of the ugly incident Danton referred to yesterday as "life threatening."

"My biggest hope is that there is a serious evaluation about how you prevent this type of stuff from happening again because it caused so much damage to the game," Moore said.


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