Since beginning to write on Illegal Curve, I have done my best to keep alive an issue that the NHL wishes would go away. That issue is the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore assault from a few years ago. The NHL has pushed Moore under the rug; out of sight, out of mind. Now on the twilight of his career, Todd Bertuzzi hops from team to team all in search of one more million dollar pay cheque. I vow that so long as Todd Bertuzzi plays in the NHL, and Steve Moore can’t, I will remind our readers that Steve Moore never had the opportunity to get to see the twilight of his career, or a million dollar pay cheque.
Originally published on October 16, 2007
(Note: The article was published immediately upon my return from a trip to Las Vegas)
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 in no other way than an attempt to severely injure 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, deliberate and mean action of an individual who was upset with being on the short end of the outcome of a hockey game.
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.”
Every time Todd Bertuzzi dresses for an NHL game, every time he touches the puck, every time his skates make a cut into the ice, every time 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 Drew Mindell.
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