Moore to attend hearing

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

Todd Bertuzzi will have to get past Steve Moore to be allowed back into the National Hockey League.

The two principals from one of the league's most nefarious incidents will be in the same New York office this morning, but likely not at the same time, when commissioner Gary Bettman and chief legal officer Bill Daly consider the Vancouver Canuck forward Bertuzzi's request for reinstatement.

No decision on lifting Bertuzzi's suspension will be announced until tomorrow at the earliest.

Moore, still suffering the effects of a broken neck and concussion from the March 8, 2004 attack by Bertuzzi, will be represented by Toronto lawyer Tim Danson.

"Steve has been asked to come to the hearing and he will do that," Danson told TSN yesterday. "We want to make sure Gary Bettman gets a full and accurate understanding of Steve's situation and the impact this act of violence has had on his life."

Daly did not respond to a question on how much weight Moore's comments will carry in the final decision.

Also in attendance today will be Canucks general manager Dave Nonis, Bertuzzi's agent, Pat Morris, and Lee Foreman, the Denver lawyer representing Moore in the civil suit launched against Bertuzzi in February. It accuses Bertuzzi of civil conspiracy, assault, battery and negligence. It asks for damages, but doesn't cite a dollar figure. Canuck players, management and ownership also were named.

CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE

Bertuzzi was charged with assault causing bodily harm by Vancouver police, pleaded guilty and received a conditional discharge in December. Moore submitted a six-page victim impact statement at the time and Bertuzzi is forbidden to play in any game against him for a year as part of the arrangement. But with Moore hurt for the foreseeable future, that's a moot point.

The NHL Players' Association has been given standing at today's hearing, but denies speculation that its yet-to-be named lawyer is there in sole support of the higher-profile Bertuzzi.

"We will be participating for the purpose of monitoring the hearing from a procedural and fairness perspective," the union said. "The NHLPA will not have a role on behalf of, or represent, either party."


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