Todd Bertuzzi apologized for the way he acted with the media for a portion of his career on Tuesday's edition of Sportsnet 650's "Starting Lineup."
"I was too hard, I told you guys, 'Sorry if I was a douche, man,'" Bertuzzi said. "It's true, I wasn't very co-operative at times because I wasn't ready for that stuff. I didn't want to speak every day. I was paid to go play hockey and entertain fans not to have stuff written in the paper. I could care less what was written in the paper, the stories that you guys needed. I just wanted to go play hockey and entertain fans, that's all I wanted to do."
The 45-year-old was known as a bruising power forward throughout his career. In an infamous 2004 incident while with the Vancouver Canucks, Bertuzzi sucker-punched Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore and fractured multiple vertebrae in his neck, ending his NHL career.
The event resulted in criminal charges against Bertuzzi and a civil lawsuit, which brought an intense media spotlight on him for several months.
"Getting older and understanding that a lot more comes with it, I'm sure things would have been less abrasive after 2004, but at the same time what's done is done and we all learn," Bertuzzi said. "If people want to hate me or have an opinion on me because of that then that's OK I'm fine with that.
"Vancouver, you know what, looking at it now, they were great, they really were. I was just at that point annoyed with having to answer the same set of questions, I was not prepared for what I needed to do."