Just as Wayne Gretzky was making news in Arizona, NHL commisioner Gary Bettman announced the re-instatement of Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi in a low key press release. Bertuzzi was suspended by the league in March 2003 for his vicious attack
on then Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore. His suspension lasted the final 13 regular-season games of the 2003-04 season and 7 games from the playoffs. He continued to sit out throughout last season's NHL lockout, not playing in World Cup of Hockey, the past two world championships and for any European league. Bertuzzi will attend the Olympic orientation camp help in Kelowna, British Columbia and he will also be eligible to play in Vancouver's opening game on October 5, 2005 against Gretzky and the Phoenix Coyotes.
In the press release, Bettman noted that, "While I believe that Mr. Bertuzzi must be held accountable for his actions," Bettman said in a lengthy statement, "I do not feel it necessary or appropriate to delay the issuance of this opinion. I have no doubt that this period of indefinite suspension has been marked by uncertainty, anxiety, stress and emotional pain for the Bertuzzi family. I believe that Mr. Bertuzzi is genuinely remorseful and apologetic for his actions and the consequences." The victim of his assault is still not ready to play professional hockey. Steve Moore was not offerred a contract by the Avalanche and is now a free agent and as per his lawyer Tim Danson, has been going through a rigorous series of tests to guage the impact of his injuries.