Steve Moore says he tries to focus on the positive, on how far he's come in the three years since Todd Bertuzzi put his hockey life on hold, but he says he still gets frustrated.

"I'm coming along. It's been a long frustrating three years. I just try to focus on how much better I'm doing today than I was three years ago - even two years ago," the former NHLer told Canada AM.

Moore, 28, has been slowly regaining his strength, working out as often as he can, dealing with the headaches and nausea that can come with post-concussion syndrome. He's even been back on the ice, getting his bearings.

"It's nice. I've never been off skates for that long ever in my life," he says.

But Moore still hasn't played a hard game of hockey since March 8, 2004, the day that changed his life. That's when Bertuzzi grabbed him from behind, punched him in the head and drove his head into the ice. Moore suffered three fractured vertebrae in his neck, a concussion and other injuries.

Bertuzzi was charged with assault for the hit on Moore. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation and community service.

The NHL gave him a 17-month suspension. He gave up about US$502,000 in salary, and missed 13 regular-season games and the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2004.

Last week, Bertuzzi was traded to Detroit Red Wings. But he has missed almost all of this season due to a back injury. While Bertuzzi is expected to be playing again soon, Moore is not.

He hasn't played in the NHL since the Bertuzzi hit and may never play again.

"It's frustrating," Moore says. "But at the same time, I'm able to do more than before. I try to look on the positive side. I try to say I'm doing workouts that before I wasn't able to do. But at the same time, there are days where it's getting pretty frustrating."

Moore filed a lawsuit earlier this year, seeking $15 million in lost wages, $1 million in aggravated damages and another $2 million in punitive damages from Bertuzzi. The suit also names Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Vancouver Canucks, along with the team.

Moore's parents are also claiming $1.5 million in damages for "the nervous shock and mental distress'' caused by the attack.

Moore says he's determined to return to the NHL even though he's not sure that much has changed since the hit on him.

"I try not to think about this stuff. And this is very disturbing," Moore said as he looked at a monitor showing NY Islanders winger Chris Simon striking NY Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg in the face with his stick.

"It's something that I think has no place in the game. Having gone through it -- not that I needed to go through it -- I think that it's something that the game needs to deal with, to remove it.

"It's not good for increasing fanship and love of the sport. It's not a part of the sport and it shouldn't be."