Bertuzzi hit hinders fate of fighting in hockey

Jessica MacIntosh

Jessica MacIntosh

Jessica MacIntosh

It’s a good old hockey game – or not.

Hockey will never be the same.

The Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks took to the ice March 8 in Vancouver for a game no one will ever forget.

During the third period, Vancouver all-star forward Todd Bertuzzi checked Colorado forward Steve Moore from behind, leaving him unconscious and bleeding.

Later, it was announced Moore had a fractured neck, concussion and deep facial lacerations and would be hospitalized indefinitely.

The Canucks were fined $250,000 for the Bertuzzi hit.

Bertuzzi was suspended through the playoffs until a hearing was held March 10 to decide his fate.

In an article on MSNBC’s Web site, the suspension may be one of the harshest in National Hockey League history.

In an article on azcentral.com, British Columbia Solicitor General Rich Coleman and Vancouver police are looking into the incident. This would be the second time in four years the police have investigated an “on-ice hit at an NHL game in the city.”

In February 2000, former Boston Bruin Marty McSorley was convicted of assault with a weapon. He received an 18-month conditional discharge, “meaning no jail time and no criminal record after probation.” The NHL suspended him for the year, ending his 17-year career, the article read.

The police have not charged Bertuzzi yet.

Colorado coach Tony Granato, a former San Jose Shark, said in the article, “There is no room in our game for that.”

He is absolutely correct on that.

It is ironic Crawford used to be the coach for Colorado and then moved onto coach Vancouver. Was there a motivation to take out one of the Colorado players?

An article on ESPN’s Web site read Moore delivered a hit in February, which knocked out Vancouver captain Markus Naslund for three games with a concussion. Maybe that was the reason to take out Moore. It may have been revenge.

“As weird as it seems, I don’t think that was Todd’s intentions,” Naslund said in the ESPN report. “He obviously gave him a sucker punch but he feels really awful about it right now.”

Sounds like revenge.

It also sounds like Bertuzzi purposely did it.

Bertuzzi said at a press conference, “I don’t play the game that way, because I’m not a mean-spirited person.”

The hockey player remained teary-eyed as he apologized to Moore’s family, the hockey fans and the NHL.

If you don’t play the game that way, Todd, then why did you do it in the first place?

At one point during the game, Colorado wanted to forfeit. Colorado right wing Teemu Selanne told the Toronto Sun he did not want “to go on the ice any more.”

“The players were saying the same thing. ‘Let’s just stop this game right now,'” he said. “A lot of guys were talking about it, saying, ‘Let’s just stop this game. It’s not a safe place.'”

There is now a debate on whether fighting should be banned by the NHL. Colin Campbell, NHL’s chief disciplinarian, said in a MSNBC article, fighting could be banned at one point.

Isn’t that the best part of hockey? Fighting is what makes hockey hockey. Take away the fighting, say goodbye to the fans who love the sport. But, if there is reason to believe fighting can cause real problems, then it should not be allowed. The NHL is only trying to protect players from serious injuries.