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NHL Forward Moore to Miss Rest of Season Following Neck Injury During Fight - 2004-03-10

National Hockey League forward Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche will miss the rest of the season with a fractured neck. The man who injured Moore, Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks, faces a criminal investigation.

The Avalanche won Monday's fight-plagued game 9-2. But things turned ugly late in the game when Bertuzzi slugged Moore on the side of the head from behind, and drove his head into the ice before landing on top of him. Moore was knocked unconscious and bled profusely before being removed from the ice on a stretcher. Colorado team president and general manager Pierre Lacroix said there is no room for this sort of thing in hockey.

"This is a wonderful sport that we are in and this is just sad that things like that happen, and we wish nothing like that would happen again, and we wish things like that would never happen," he said.

Avalanche coach Tony Granato also gave his thoughts on the incident.

"Unacceptable," he said. "I mean, the best way to say it is unacceptable. Whether the score be uh… it does not matter what the score was, what the time was, what the place was, what the history of it was. There is no room, like Pierre said, in our game. We have too much to offer in our game. From the goal-scoring things you saw, and the saves you saw and clean body checks you saw, there is no room in our game for something like that." The 25-year-old Moore will be in the hospital indefinitely after suffering the neck fracture, a concussion and deep facial cuts. Vancouver police are investigating the matter as an assault. Bertuzzi has been suspended indefinitely pending an NHL hearing in Toronto Wednesday.

This is the second time in recent years Vancouver police have become involved in an on-ice altercation. In 2000, Boston's Marty McSorley drew a conditional sentence for assault, when he hit Canucks enforcer Donald Brashear with his stick. Brashear was knocked unconscious and missed 20 games. McSorley was banned by the NHL for a year, which ultimately led to his retirement after a 17-year career.