SUN Hockey Pool

Bert expected to battle Blues after legal detour

RANDY SPORTAK

, Last Updated: 1:13 PM ET

Todd Bertuzzi is expected to rejoin the Flames in time for tonight's game against the St. Louis Blues after taking a detour for more legal wrangling.

Bertuzzi spent yesterday in Toronto at a mediation hearing with Steve Moore and their lawyers to help work toward a resolution in the lawsuit filed against the Calgary Flames winger.

It's believed to be the first face-to-face meeting between the NHL players since the March 2004 on-ice incident between the two that appears to have ended Moore's playing days and left Bertuzzi's career in limbo for 17 months.

The hearing was not open to the public and intended to be confidential and without prejudice.

Bertuzzi could not be reached for comment last night. He has declined talking about the case since he signed with the team.

Also believed to have been in attendance is former Vancouver Canucks head coach Marc Crawford.

Moore has filed a $38-million lawsuit against Bertuzzi for the sucker punch, a response to a check on then-Vancouver captain Markus Naslund.

Moore suffered three fractured neck vertebrae, a concussion and facial lacerations and has not played since.

Bertuzzi was suspended for the remainder of the season, including playoffs, as well as the 2004-05 campaign and was reinstated after the NHL lockout ended.

He was not allowed to play for any team during the lockout, including Canada's entries at the World Cup of Hockey or World Championships. Nor in Europe.

Bertuzzi filed court papers claiming the negligence of Crawford contributed to the incident.

Crawford claims Bertuzzi acted in disobedience and was told to get off the ice just before the attack.

Bertuzzi's side reportedly offered a $350,000 settlement.

Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to criminal charges in Vancouver and received one year's probation plus 80 hours of community service.


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