Michael Jordan, the minor league baseball player extraordinaire, the legendary hawker of all things Nike, and a man who seemingly has zero social conscience despite his gazillions of dollars, once sent out a two word press release touting his return to basketball. Those two words were I’m back. (We will deal with whether or not the I’m conjunction is actually one or two words at a later date.)
Well considering I am at least, if not more, world renowned than MJ, I hereby announce that after a two-week hiatus from ranting, I am back. (Three words are obviously better than two.) I know my legions of fans were lamenting my absence, but I assure you, the valued reader, I was in Las Vegas not for my own entertainment but to do valuable CHR research on the negative impact that the potential for 24 hour gambling has on ones net worth. The answer can be summed up in the nugget of info that MGM is currently building an 8 BILLION dollar development in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard.
Anyways, as I tend to do, I digress. I suppose this is a blog about hockey and not my own platform to impart my wisdom on un-suspecting web surfers, so I should talk about the “coldest (hearted) game on ice.”
As I was wiling away my hours in the Excalibur Hotel and Casino Sports-book, I noticed in one of the smallest televisions in the furthest away corner, an NHL game was being shown. Immediately suspecting that this was an egregious oversight on the part of the sports-book operators I expected them to change it to another series of greyhound races. But for some reason I have yet to figure out, they actually showed an entire NHL game!
The only reason I mention this game, is not because people were watching it (because they certainly weren’t), or because people were gambling on it (I think the exhibition Raptors-Celtics game from Italy got more action), but rather because of the criminal element involved in the game, namely one Todd Bertuzzi.
For whatever reason, during the recent out-cry against illegal hits, or blows to the head, or guys attempting to use their sticks as machetes, the name Todd Bertuzzi has gone unmentioned. More important than the name Bertuzzi, is the name Moore, as in Steve, the long forgotten, unlamented original victim of hockey’s recent on-ice violent spree. No matter what isn’t said by TVs chattering heads, this writer has not forgotten about Steve Moore, and the unprovoked, deliberate attack that was perpetrated against him by Todd Bertuzzi. I have heard all of the excuses for why Bertuzzi did it. I have heard all the defenses provided for him by people in the hockey world (believe me, I lived with someone from Vancouver, I have heard ALL the excuses), but in my humble opinion, the attack of Todd Bertuzzi was worse than any of the other recent incidences we have seen.
Todd Bertuzzi was skating behind Steve Moore. Moore was the definition of unsuspecting as last time I checked he didn’t have eyes in the back of his head. Bertuzzi sucker punched him in a way a WWE bad guy would have applauded. He grabbed his body as it was about to hit the ice, and pile-drove him head first into the ice. His intention can be understood no other way than an attempt to injure, severely, Steve Moore. It wasn’t a spur of the moment reaction to someone coming after him. It wasn’t a Darwinist survival of the fittest moment, it was simply the cold-hearted, and mean action of an individual who was upset with the outcome of a hockey game that his team was on the short end of.
At the end of the day, twenty games are what Todd Bertuzzi served. Twenty games for fracturing three vertebrae in Steve Moore’s neck. Twenty games for a grade three concussion. Twenty games for vertebral ligament damage. Twenty games for damaging the brachial plexus nerves. Twenty games for ruining someone and ending their livelihood. Twenty games.
And after twenty games, Todd Bertuzzi was re-instated into the NHL in part because of the, “significant uncertainty, anxiety, stress and emotional pain caused to Bertuzzi’s family.”
Everytime Todd Bertuzzi dresses for an NHL game, everytime he touches the puck, everytime his skates make a cut into the ice, everytime he “face-washes” an opposing player, the NHL and Bertuzzi should be ashamed of themselves, for no one remembers the person who suffered the real “significant uncertainty, anxiety, stress and emotional pain”—Steve Moore.
For Illegal Curve, I am Andrew M.
About the writer: Formerly a speech writer for a Canadian Federal Politician, Andrew will be bringing his unique take on the hockey world to the illegal curve blog once a week, or more often if the rage needs to be released in a manner other than clobbering a referee over the head with a whiskey bottle. Mainly because he doesn’t have enough empty whiskey bottles at his disposal.