CBSN

Guilty Plea In Hockey Assault

Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore
CBS/AP
Vancouver Canucks player Todd Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to assault Wednesday, more than nine months after slugging Colorado forward Steve Moore from behind and driving his face into the ice during a game.

A lawyer acting on behalf of Moore asked the judge to delay sentencing until January to give his client a chance to travel to Vancouver to make a statement. Moore was hospitalized with three fractured vertebrae, facial cuts, post-concussion symptoms and amnesia.

Judge Herb Weitzel said he would decide later Wednesday when he would deliver his sentence.

Bertuzzi was suspended indefinitely by the NHL, missing 13 regular-season games and seven postseason games while losing nearly $502,000 in salary. On Friday, he was barred from playing in Europe by the International Ice Hockey Federation because of his violent conduct.

Tim Danson, Moore's Toronto-based attorney, said Tuesday it was his understanding Bertuzzi would not receive a criminal record in exchange for pleading guilty.

But Danson said he became aware of the deal on Monday, and neither he, nor Moore, had a chance to travel to Vancouver to address the court. Instead, Danson hired a Vancouver lawyer to ask for the sentencing delay.

Before the plea bargain, Bertuzzi faced a maximum of 18 months in prison. Bertuzzi, who had been scheduled to stand trial Jan. 17, was accompanied in court by his wife and Canucks captain Marcus Naslund.