Logically, the chances that Steve Moore’s civil case against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks ever made it to trial were slim. According to Bob McKenzie, they’re getting slimmer.

The TSN pundit reported late Monday night that Moore and Bertuzzi could be heading off their court showdown, as the sides are “deep into discussions aimed at arriving at a negotiated (out of court) settlement.”

This comes weeks before the scheduled Sept. 8 opening of the trial, as Moore is seeking damages after a sucker-punch from Bertuzzi in a March 8, 2004 game between the Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche ended Moore’s hockey career. Bertuzzi pled guilty to an assault charge, and his suspension ended up lasting 17 months from the NHL.

Moore upped to ante on the trial in June, increasing his financial claims in the case from $38 million to $68 million. Beyond liability, the arguments in the trial would have centered around Moore’s earning potential as an NHL player, and life in general as a Harvard grad, and how the incident derailed it.