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The Todd Bertuzzi Reader

Reviewing the firestorm that erupted when Todd Bertuzzi took down Steve Moore.

By

The Incident

Bertuzzi Blows A Gasket
Canucks vs. Avalanche: The Fateful Game

The Main Players

"Mr. Bertuzzi pursued Mr. Moore on the ice, attempting to engage him in a confrontation. When Mr. Moore declined to engage Mr. Bertuzzi, Mr. Bertuzzi responded by delivering a gloved punch from behind to the side of Mr. Moore's head, rendering him unconscious. Upon falling to the ice, Mr. Moore suffered additional serious injuries. We want to make clear that this type of conduct will not be tolerated in the NHL.”
- NHL vice president Colin Campbell announces Bertuzzi’s suspension.

"No matter what the punishment was, it really wasn't going to do anything as far as making Steve feel better. As players and teammates, we've said all along, whatever the league decided, we'd be fine with."
- Resident goon Peter Worrell encapsulates the careful response of Steve Moore’s team mates to the news of Bertuzzi’s lengthy suspension.

"Steve, I just want to apologize for what happened out there. I had no intention of hurting you.”
- A tearful Todd Bertuzzi apologizes to Moore in his only public statement since the incident.

"I want to talk about Todd Bertuzzi and the way he has been vilified in the media through this process. What he is, is a great hockey player and an excellent human being. Because he is not warm and fuzzy with you, you've taken this opportunity to kick the crap out of him and I think it's been just shameful.”
- Canucks’ general manager Brian Burke sticks up for his guy.

"I can't explain how scary it is."
- Three weeks after the attack, Steve Moore speaks.

The Reaction

“The hard thing is to start asking the real questions. I mean, how the hell did we get here? It is time for all of us to start asking that question, most of all."
- Philadelphia Flyers’ coach Ken Hitchcock sets the tone for the NHL’s week of introspection.

"I'm the last guy who should say something. I did a similar thing two weeks ago."
- Martin Havlat of the Ottawa Senators is feeling lucky.

“Now, as attention shifts elsewhere, the league has the option of challenging its own, ingrained culture, or simply waiting for the storm to blow over and then not doing much at all.”
- At the Toronto Globe and Mail, Stephen Brunt says the NHL should show a little faith in its game.

"If you have a beef with somebody, and you want to do something, [you settle it] face to face. Face to face and you settle it that way. You do not sucker punch ever from behind."
- While not defending Bertuzzi, Don Cherry says the incident might have been avoided if Colorado coach Tony Granato had taken steps to protect Steve Moore; like sending Peter Worrell out to police the situation.

“At the risk of being charged with stereotyping, Bertuzzi's behavior is typical of the hockey culture in Canada, a country that has long claimed the game as its own. Look at the record. The list is seemingly endless and Bertuzzi, a ‘good Canadian boy from Sudbury, Ontario,’ is only the most recent Canadian native to rise to the top of a rather lengthy list of infamous characters.”
- Jim Kelley at ESPN.com believes hockey needs an attitude change that begins north of the 49th Parallel.

“The length of Bertuzzi's sentence will unquestionably get the attention of NHL players, but then, there was supposed to be the message in the McSorley suspension. McSorley got what amounted to a lifetime ban and a criminal record as a result of his slash to Brashear's head. The McSorley-Brashear incident happened right under Bertuzzi's nose - in his home arena - but that didn't stop him from attacking Moore, even if he should have known better.”
- Eric Duhatschek of the Toronto Globe and Mail suspects that the Bertuzzi suspension will make little difference to the way hockey is played.

"It's not going to change the code." - For a hockey enforcer like Darcy Hordichuk of the Florida Panthers, the NHL tradition of payback will continue.

“Hockey wonders why it isn’t embraced by mainstream sports fans. The answer was lying just the other night in a pool of blood on the ice in Vancouver.”
- All over North America, columnists were spinning the Bertuzzi incident into a condemnation of hockey and dire predictions for its future. For a standard-issue example, try Mike Celizic at MSNBC.

Hockey is a complete joke, with sucker punches for punch lines. It is a cartoon sport with a cult following that cheers from the fringe of relevance.
- From the pages of USA Today, hockey dilettante Ian O’Connor provides an excellent example of the misinformation and hysteria that characterized much of the media response.

“The coverage after the event was predictable because the number one media rule is ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’ The attack on Moore was certain to rocket around the world. The main issue is not the coverage after the fact. The key issue is media behaviour before the fact. How can hockey reporters deny their own complicity?”
- At the Canucks Corner weblog, Tom Benjamin dissects the hypocrisy of the hockey media.

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