VANCOUVER, Canada — Vancouver Canuck forward Todd Bertuzzi received a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to assault Wednesday, more than nine months after slugging Colorado forward Steve Moore from behind during a game.
The sentence, which leaves Bertuzzi without a criminal record, was the one recommended by the prosecutor after Bertuzzi agreed to a plea bargain.
"I have concluded that the imposition of a discharge is not contrary to the public interest," Judge Herb Weitzel said Wednesday night.
Bertuzzi received a year's probation in which he is not allowed to play in a game against Moore, the former Avalanche player, who was hospitalized with three fractured vertebrae, facial cuts, post-concussion symptoms and amnesia after the March 8 hit.
That might never come into play because Moore is without an NHL contract and still has health issues resulting from Bertuzzi's punch.
Bertuzzi must also perform 80 hours of community service. If he complies with his community service and probation requirements, he will not have a criminal record.
Moore was not present in the courtroom but delivered a statement that was read in court before the sentence was handed down.
"I have no desire to interact with [Bertuzzi] in any way," Moore said. "If I'm ever able to play again, I would ask that Todd Bertuzzi never be permitted to play in any sporting activity I'm involved in."
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.
Prosecutor Garth Loeppky told the court he asked for the conditional discharge with no criminal record for Bertuzzi after the guilty plea.
Tim Danson, Moore's Toronto-based attorney, said he became aware of the plea bargain Monday, and neither he nor Moore had a chance to travel to Vancouver to address the court. Danson hired a Vancouver lawyer to ask for a sentencing delay until January so Moore could speak to the court in person. That request was denied.
Danson said a civil suit against Bertuzzi hinges on whether Moore can resume his career.