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NHL Re-Instates Bertuzzi

As a Canucks fan, I was pleased to hear that the NHL has re-instated Todd Bertuzzi. He was suspended indefinitely in March 2004 for an attack on Colorado Avalanche player Steve Moore (who may or may not be ready to play again soon). In light of how the rest of the teams in the Canucks division have been loading up, we’ll definitely need him in uniform.

The NHL has released a ten-page decision (PDF, like some kind of hockey supreme court) on the ruling:

After listening to Mr. Bertuzzi and his wife Julie Bertuzzi, I have no doubt that this period of indefinite suspension has been marked by uncertainty, anxiety, stress and emotional pain for the Bertuzzi family. Other NHL players who were faced with the uncertainty caused by the seemingly indefinite nature of the work stoppage at least were able to take solace in the fact that during the period of the work stoppage they could seek employment outside of the NHL playing professional hockey, and that upon resumption of NHL play, they could immediately resume their NHL careers. Mr. Bertuzzi was not in such a position.

In other news, the Canucks signed the NHL’s only Korean player, Richard Park, to a one-year deal. He’s a defensively-responsible, slighly-undersized winger, good for 15-20 goals a year. He comes cheap at $750,000. I expect that he’ll be auditioned next to the Sedin twins.

7 Responses to “NHL Re-Instates Bertuzzi”

  1. Paolo

    I think Bertuzzi should only be allowed back in the game if Moore gets one free, conditionless, swing of retribution — as hard as he wants.

    Personally, I’m sick of seeing real crimes perpetrated on the ice with a fan base of hypocrite supporters that would have reacted completely differently had this kind of attack happened to them or someone they loved.

    Geez, I mean, imagine you’re on the bus and out of nowhere someone punches you from behind because you bumped him while getting on. Wouldn’t you want to know that he was never again going to be on that bus? Wouldn’t you prefer that he be — oh, I don’t know — IN JAIL??

    Perhaps a restraining order would have been the best punishment. Every time Moore would get on the ice, Bertuzzi would have to sit that game out.

    meh. I’m just cheesed at this whole thing.

  2. Darren

    Paolo: Well, this debate has run its course a long time ago, but I think the mitigating factor is this: there’s a reasonable expectation of violence on the ice, which there isn’t on the bus.

    Additionally, that exact order is in place–Bertuzzi can’t play in any game that features Moore. There’s speculation that a team in the Canucks conference may pick up Moore, solely so that they don’t have to face Bertuzzi 6 (or whatever) times a year.

  3. Jim Turner

    Might I suggest an alternative? Bertuzzi should pay 50% of his salary to Moore. Moore’s star was rising while Bertuzzi was on the backside of his career. Fair?

    signed, a disgruntled Avs fan.

  4. Chris

    50% seems a bit much. Bertuzzi is a superstar, and Moore was a nobody. I’d hardly say that Bert was on the backside of his career – Bertuzzi is 30 and Moore is 27. When Bertuzzi was Moore’s age, he got 85 points (2001-2002). They’re a different class of player.

  5. Darren

    Jim: It’s pretty generous to call Moore’s star “rising”. In 69 games (over 3 seasons) for the Avalanche, he’d scored 5 goals. He was a fringe player at best.

    As an Avalanche fan, you ought to be upset with your owner for signing Brad May–he was as a central figure in the whole Moore incident.

  6. Paolo

    I don’t really care if it was old news. I don’t really care for excuses about how certain amounts of violence on the ice is OK. I also don’t care how many goals someone did or didn’t score because that doesn’t lessen the event that transpired. In the end, one man’s violence nearly ended another’s career and almost ended his ability to walk.

    As I see it, it’s never OK to come up behind someone (especially when you’re a large, powerful man) and attack them. You can’t do that in boxing. You can’t even do that in martial arts.

    Quite frankly, it’s clear that love for the game has given many people who would have normally opposed what happened a bout of hypocracy.

  7. Darren

    Paolo: I’m afraid that “coming up behind someone and attacking them” is standard practice in hockey. I could describe a dozen incidents in the last decade that were as or more dangerous as Bertuzzi’s hit.

    I think if you asked the average hockey fan, they’d definitely agree that Bertuzzi should receive a severe punishment. In the context of the game, he has. I’m not sure where the hypocrisy comes in.

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