Sports Outside the Beltway

Steve Moore, 3 Years Later

Today marks the three years since March 8, 2004 when one of the NHL took one of the biggest black eyes ever at the fist of Todd Bertuzzi’s sucker punch to the back of Steve Moore’s head. Since then Burtuzzi has been suspended, reinstated, traded to Florida, and traded to Detriot. Steve Moore has spent the last three years visiting specialists and trying to return to the game.

Steve Moore is living in his hometown of Thornhill, Ontario. He is working out, lifting weights and skating. He makes periodic visits to the renowned Cleveland Clinic and to his Toronto doctors, but he said he still has concussion-related problems that have prevented the physicians from clearing him to take contact and to attempt to play.

But he hasn’t given up on trying to return to the NHL.

This is Steve Moore’s life, three years since the notorious March 8, 2004 incident where Todd Bertuzzi hit the Avalanche forward from behind, drove him into the ice and tried to hit him as Colorado’s Andrei Nikolishin fell on the pile and attempted to restrain Bertuzzi. It has been three years since Moore was wheeled off the General Motors Place ice with three fractured neck vertebrae, a concussion and facial lacerations.

“It kind of hits you in the face, like, ‘Wow, it’s been three years,’” Moore told The Denver Post on Wednesday. “When you’re going about your daily rehabilitation and working out and trying to get healthy, you don’t want to try to think about the time that has gone by. But there are certain landmarks or dates that kind of bring it home for you.

“I’m just skating on my own,” he added. “That’s the only thing I’ve sort of been allowed to do. It’s so frustrating to do that, especially while I’m working these long periods of time, hard and for many hours a day, and then going to the doctors and having them say, ‘No, you’re not allowed to do it.’ It’s pretty difficult to go back and put you nose to the grindstone again. But I’ve always been consistent that way. I’ve always had the ability to get myself motivated.”

It was an embarassing event for the league, but even more embarassing is that Bertuzzi was allowed back in the league. Bertuzzi should still be suspended and should not been allowed to take the ice until at least Moore had recovered from his injuries if at all. Any team that wants Bertuzzi deserves ridicule and shame for putting that embarassment to the sport on the ice.

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