VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - The Vancouver Canucks have denied that former coach Marc Crawford called for retaliation against Steve Moore during a 2004 game against the Colorado Avalanche.
The team released a statement Friday refuting claims in court documents in the multimillion dollar lawsuit Moore filed against former Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi, the Canucks and their parent company, Orca Bay Hockey, in February 2006.
``At no time did the Vancouver Canucks organization or any of its management and employees, including former coach Mr. Crawford, encourage or promote the incident that occurred between Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore on March 8, 2004,'' the Canucks' statement said.
A statement of claim filed in court by Moore's lawyer and obtained by the CBC alleges that Crawford pointed to Moore's name and number on a board in the Canucks' locker room during the second intermission of that game and said ``... (Moore) must pay the price.''
Bertuzzi grabbed Moore from behind, punched him on the side of his head and then landed on top of him, driving his head into the ice. Moore was removed on a stretcher. He sustained a broken neck and a concussion, and has not played hockey since.
The Canucks were angry with Moore for delivering a questionable hit on Vancouver star Markus Naslund that was not penalized during a Feb. 16, 2004, game.
``If on Jan. 21, 2008, the court permits these allegations to be advanced by Mr. Moore, these allegations will be defended vigorously by the Canucks,'' the Canucks' release said.
Bertuzzi served a 17-month suspension. He was also charged with assault causing bodily harm. He pleaded guilty and was given a conditional discharge and one year's probation. Bertuzzi signed a two-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks earlier this year.
Crawford is now coach of the Los Angeles Kings.
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