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30/08/2014

McCaw no longer owns the Canucks

The former owner of the Vancouver Canucks has been ordered to testify if he approved a career-ending sucker punch on Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore by forward Todd Bertuzzi. Chris Conte . Ontario Superior Court Case Management Master Ronald Dash released the decision on Monday, saying John McCaw Jr. must testify in front of a jury by live video conference. Moores lawyer, Tim Danson, asked the court to compel McCaw - who is based in Seattle - to testify in the case back on February 27. "Holding billionaire owners of NHL teams accountable for the corporate culture they set, and for what happens under their watch is a very important issue," said Danson in a statement on Monday. Its been over 10 years since Bertuzzis infamous hit, and Moores multi-million-dollar lawsuit is set to go to trial on Sept. 8. Danson said last month that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly have already voluntarily agreed to testify. McCaws lawyer, Steven Frankel, argued last month that the court doesnt have jurisdiction to do that and suggested Danson is trying to do an "end run" around very specific court rules. Frankel said there is no evidence before the court that McCaw, who is not an individual defendant, even has relevant evidence to give. A jury should be able to hear McCaw answer whether he knew Canucks players were gunning for retaliation against Moore for a hit weeks earlier on former Canucks captain Markus Naslund that resulted in a concussion, Danson argued. Bertuzzi has alleged the Canucks then-coach Marc Crawford urged his players to make Moore "pay the price," while Crawford has claimed Bertuzzi disobeyed instructions to get off the ice before Moore was attacked. Players were issuing public threats against Moore before the hit, Danson said, and what McCaw did or didnt do about it is "highly relevant to the question of negligence." "Theres no way that you can have the intensity of the public threats over three weeks going on unless the corporate culture set by Mr. McCaw allowed it, and he has to answer to that," Danson said. Danson suggested that McCaw fostered a corporate culture that may have at least implicitly approved such an attack, including having as the president and general manager Brian Burke, who was "unapologetic about promoting violence in hockey." "Were Burke and Crawford carrying out the wishes of McCaw?" Danson suggested. "Or given the wink...when it came to getting Mr. Moore?" McCaw no longer owns the Canucks, having sold his company Orca Bay, now known as Canucks Sports and Entertainment. But he maintains a "very significant financial interest" in the outcome of the lawsuit, as he is still on the hook for half of any liability found against the team, which Danson said was a condition of the sale. "If he doesnt testify, if he doesnt come forward, our case is going to be significantly weakened," Danson said. "So he knows its not in his best interest to testify because if he testifies, it will be....to the benefit of the plaintiffs." Moore is suing Bertuzzi and the Canucks for $38 million for a 2004 on-ice hit that left Moore, then a Colorado Avalanche player, with a concussion and three fractured vertebrae. Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of assault causing bodily harm and was sentenced in 2006 to a years probation and 80 hours of community service. He also served a multi-game suspension from the NHL but has gone on to play for several other NHL teams, including currently as a forward for the Detroit Red Wings. David Fales . Six players scored in double figures for Boston. Rondos double-double was his second straight and fifth overall since he returned from a knee injury on Jan. 17. Jeff Teague had 26 points and DeMarre Carroll scored 24 off the bench for Atlanta, which lost for the 10th time in 11 games. Domenik Hixon . -- Boston police have been investigating whether jailed former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez may have been the gunman in a 2012 double slaying, according to a search warrant request released Thursday.NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira has provided consistent power for weeks. The rest of the New York Yankees joined in Saturday. Teixeira hit a two-run homer, Zoilo Almonte connected in his first start of the season and New York went deep five times for a 7-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the second time since 2011 that five Yankees players homered in one game. "It was nice to see," manager Joe Girardi said. "Our team is built for this park." Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano also homered off a struggling Edinson Volquez to back five scoreless innings from David Phelps (1-0). Brian McCann added a two-run drive in the eighth against reliever Vin Mazzaro as New York won for only the second time in eight home games. Coming off consecutive road shutouts against the crosstown rival Mets, the Yankees took their third straight following a four-game slide. "We had a very good game overall," Soriano said. "Thats what we expect." Starling Marte homered and had three hits in his return to the starting lineup for the Pirates, winless at Yankee Stadium since Harvey Haddix pitched them to a 5-2 victory in Game 5 of the 1960 World Series. Volquez (1-4) gave up six hits -- four homers -- and no walks in 6 1-3 innings, dropping to 0-4 in his last five starts. Teixeira connected on a 1-2 pitch following Derek Jeters single in the first for his eighth home run in his last 17 games. It was the 350th of his career, tying Chili Davis for sixth place among switch-hitters. Almonte sent Volquezs first pitch of the third into the raised bleachers in right-centre for his second major league homer. Called up from the minors Tuesday, Almonte was a late addition to the lineup when centre fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched with flu-like symptoms. Gardner homered leading off the sixth and Soriano did the same in the seventh. "They are great hitters and I made a lot of mistakes," Volquez said. "You cannot make a lot of mistakes in this ballpark." After a rainout Friday night, 47,353 fans turned out on a beautiful afternoon for the Pirates first visit to the current Yankee Stadium. They went 0-6 in interleague games at the old place, swept in a June 2005 series and again two years later. Phelps pitched out of early trouble to earn his first win as a starter since July 4, 2013, at Minnesota. After beginning the season in the bullpen, the right-hander was making his third staart since replacing injured Michael Pineda in the rotation. Craig Steltz. "At the end of the day it was five zeros and Ill take that," he said. "You dont want to grind every time out, but its one thing that Ive kind of done this year. I havent really had my best stuff yet." Phelps got some help from the overaggressive Pirates, who ran into three outs on the bases. "We were pushing guys out there," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Those are the chances you want to take when youre not getting those big hits with runners in scoring position, try to push yourself across the plate or get yourself in scoring position." Dellin Betances tossed two innings in relief before Adam Warren and Matt Daley finished up. Phelps is 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in his last three starts at Yankee Stadium. "He made pitches when he had to," Girardi said. "There were some good plays." Pirates bopper Pedro Alvarez, who grew up a few miles from Yankee Stadium, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first game against the Yankees. He left about a dozen tickets for family and friends and was expecting his father to be in the crowd. Two calls were overturned on replay challenges, one in favour of each team. Both plays involved tags by Jeter at second base. "We won with the home run today, which were capable of doing," Teixeira said. "We have to score a little bit more and I think the last few games our pitching has really picked us up. So its good to see us break out today." NOTES: Marte (lower back tightness) made his first start in a week. ... 1B Ike Davis, traded by the Mets last month, went 0 for 3 with a walk and three strikeouts in his return to New York. ... Girardi said he would be "kind of shocked" if LHP CC Sabathia (right knee) is able to return after only 15 days on the disabled list. "We dont know when hes coming back," Girardi said. ... Pineda (shoulder muscle) is scheduled to throw 25 pitches on the side Sunday. ... Ichiro Suzuki (back) entered in RF in the ninth and is likely to play in the traditional doubleheader Sunday -- the first single-admission twinbill at Yankee Stadium since 2004. ... RHP Hiroki Kuroda chose to start the opener Sunday against Pirates RHP Charlie Morton. LHP Vidal Nuno will pitch the second game against RHP Gerrit Cole, who spurned the Yankees to attend UCLA after they drafted him out of high school. ' ' '