March 11, 2004

That's an apology? : In a public statement Wednesday night in Vancouver, termed an "apology", Todd Bertuzzi uttered such whoppers as, "I had no intention of hurting you," and "I don't play the game that way." But ya did, Blanche, ya did!

posted by lil_brown_bat to hockey at 06:33 AM - 125 comments

"It's very difficult to see a friend going through what he's going through," Naslund said of Bertuzzi after the Canucks tied the Wild 1-1. "The best service we can do for him is to play good hockey and battle for him. That's what we are going to do." Could someone please shoot Marcus Naslund in the head? It's difficult on Todd?!? For Christ sakes, if you can't muster up a little more sympathy for the guy lying in the hospital with a broken neck than for the idiot who did it ...

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:11 AM on March 11, 2004

Come on, wfrazerjr - You know none of these Canucks are going to speak of anything other then their undying support for their unlucky teammate. The vicious attack he committed on Moore is irrelevant in their eyes. I will bet any amount of money that you will hear nobody in that organization saying "Yeah, that was a vicious attack, eh? He deserves what punishment he gets, ya know?"

posted by bcb2k2 at 07:18 AM on March 11, 2004

This shocking incident isn't indicative of Bertuzzi's career. The guy's an all-star scoring forward who isn't even in the top 25 of most penalized players. People are making him out to be a goon, but a week ago, no one would've ever predicted Bertuzzi was going to have a Marty McSorley moment. It's wrong for Bertuzzi to say he had no intention of hurting him, but I believe that he didn't intend to seriously harm him. He wanted to ring his bell. That's one of the problems with retaliatory hockey violence -- it's reckless to cheap shot someone over unforgiving surfaces like ice and the boards. I think Bertuzzi should serve a year's suspension, but only because Moore's injury is so serious. If Moore had been hurt less badly, a 10- or 20-game punishment would've been sufficient.

posted by rcade at 07:19 AM on March 11, 2004

I thought it was a good apology. 40 games seems about right to me. We'll find out soon enough.

posted by 86 at 07:37 AM on March 11, 2004

Could someone please shoot Marcus Naslund in the head? It's difficult on Todd?!? For Christ sakes, if you can't muster up a little more sympathy for the guy lying in the hospital with a broken neck than for the idiot who did it ... I think the sympathy for Moore is a given and assumed... so what's so wrong with some guy standing up for a friend? But now they're saying that Moore's injury isn't as serious as previously thought. Not a walk in the park, sure, but I'm not in favour of punishing people based on how injured a player gets. They should punish the act, not the injury. I mean, if you were to suspend people based on how long the injured player is out, then Doig would be out for the rest of the season... even if the severity of the injury was due more to Lindros' history than the severity of the hit. I mean, to use the McSorley example, McSorley wouldn't have been suspended for as long as he was if it the term was based on the severity of Brashear's injury, which looked worse than it really was. Originally, he only got 23 games... but I don't think that his attitude after the fact helped him much and the suspension was extended. Bertuzzi shouldn't be suspended for a year, but 30 games minimum should be adequate.

posted by mkn at 07:41 AM on March 11, 2004

The radio tells me he'd been suspended for the remainder of the year, plus the playoffs and prior to the next season he has to apply for re-instatement. (ESPN Radio)

posted by 86 at 08:09 AM on March 11, 2004

from nhl.com

posted by jasonspaceman at 08:22 AM on March 11, 2004

what's so wrong with some guy standing up for a friend? Throwing a pity party for your buddy is in poor taste when he put someone in the hospital with a broken neck. Hockey has always used severity of injury as a factor in doling out fines and suspensions. I think it's a good policy. Players need to think about the possible consequences of reckless actions. I'd like to see headhunters in the NFL treated the same way. It's only a matter of time before another Darryl Stingley incident in football.

posted by rcade at 08:53 AM on March 11, 2004

Hockey has always used severity of injury as a factor in doling out fines and suspensions. I think it's a good policy. And that's the thing... if Moore was suspended for his hit (he *did* knock Naslund out for a while), this, arguably, wouldn't have happened.

posted by mkn at 08:55 AM on March 11, 2004

This is exactly the right suspension, though I wouldn't have complained if he got more. I'm sure if this had happened in the middle of the season, the sentence would have been the same: year + playoffs. It's a strong statement by the league, one that says quite simply: "Pull a stunt like this, and you're gone for the year, at minimum." It's even more telling in comparison to the Ottawa/Philly brawlfest last week, where no suspensions were even considered, much less given. And that's because there is plenty of room in hockey for physicality, so long as it's done honourably and within the bounds of common decency, principles Bertuzzi chose to ignore. I think these suspensions work. The example that comes to mind is jumping off the bench to fight someone on the ice. This used to happen all the time, until the league instituted an automatic 10-game suspension for those who jump the boards. Now, nobody does it, ever. Even during a donnybrook like Ott/Phi. The 'Nucks are supremely fucked, as well they should be. Bertuzzi's actions can't be taken as if in a vacuum. The locker room (incl. Coach Crawford) bloodlust for Moore played no small part in the incident, and losing their star player for the year is an appropriate punishment for the team as well (although the Canucks were fined $250,000 on top of it all).

posted by Succa at 09:01 AM on March 11, 2004

"In light of numerous player comments about Mr. Moore following the Vancouver-Colorado game of February 16, we believe the Vancouver organization ultimately bears some responsibility for monitoring and, to the extent necessary, attempting to moderate the focus of its team," said Campbell. "While the League provided appropriate advance warnings to both organizations... we believe that more could have and should have been done." Gotta agree with the Commish there as well. And that's the thing... if Moore was suspended for his hit (he *did* knock Naslund out for a while), this, arguably, wouldn't have happened. Though I agree, I thought that (correct me if I'm wrong) that the hit was deemed legal (if not somewhat cheap).

posted by adampsyche at 09:01 AM on March 11, 2004

why would Moore get suspended for a clean hit?

posted by goddam at 09:03 AM on March 11, 2004

The example that comes to mind is jumping off the bench to fight someone on the ice. This used to happen all the time, until the league instituted an automatic 10-game suspension for those who jump the boards. Now, nobody does it, ever. You do know that Bertuzzi himself was suspended in October of 2001 for 10 games for coming off the bench to fight a player, right?

posted by grum@work at 09:14 AM on March 11, 2004

You do know that Bertuzzi himself was suspended... Yes, I do. Also, Adam Mair did it last season. Nobody's done it this season. My point is that the frequency of incidents is down to once a season at most, for what was previously an almost routine act.

posted by Succa at 09:23 AM on March 11, 2004

I'm not saying Moore should have been suspended (though a one game suspension would have done a lot to alleviate the situation), I'm just saying that in the context of using injury to determine penalty length, he should have been served. Yeah, shit happens, but if you start penalizing players based on the injury they dealt, then you're going to have a lot of rather innocuous plays severely penalized by fluke accidents.

posted by mkn at 09:34 AM on March 11, 2004

Also, you think the Canucks don't know that every single person in the universe hates Todd's guts right now? No one (not even Bertuzzi himself) is saying that what happened wasn't heinous and downright scary. But as a teammate, they have a vested interest in making sure that he comes out the other end of this and will be able to play effective hockey whenever he's allowed back on the ice. Backing each other up is what teammates do. And I accept that Todd's genuinely remorseful, and not just because of the lost paychecks or ruined reputation, but because I believe he's a largely decent human being who happened to do a really, really stupid thing.

posted by chicobangs at 09:55 AM on March 11, 2004

There is a penalty (or suspension) for "intent to injure." IMO, that should have been applied to Steve Moore. (And to repeat offenders Scott Stevens, Jason Doig, Bryan Marchment and the rest with the pseudo-legal hits.) A hit can be legal and also be an attempt to injure. I think Moore should have been suspended for extending to hit Naslund. A shot to the head is a an intent to injure.

posted by Philfromhavelock at 09:58 AM on March 11, 2004

I concur.

posted by garfield at 10:09 AM on March 11, 2004

A few quick points. Bertuzzi is doing everything he should be doing. Standing up, apologizing to Steve Moore, his team-mates, and fans. It doesn't make things any better, but it sure doesn't make them worse. And make no mistake it is a very hard thing to do, and a lot of players in the past have never done it. Give the NHL some credit as I think the suspension ruling is exactly was called for here. Moore's hit on Nasland was legal. Period. In my mind it wasn't even cheap. It's part of the game, and if you don't like it you should stop watching the NHL and start watching women's hockey. (For the record women's hockey is a great sport, but there is no hitting involved.) Trying to direct your shoulder into a guys chin is LEGAL. How else can you draw a line and say this hit over here is 'intent to injure' and this hit here isn't? By definition if it's within the rules it cannot be intent to injure. I don't hear calls for supsensions and retaliation in the NFL when a safety crushes a wide-receiver who was looking the other way. Can you retaliate for that hit within the rules of hockey? Absolutely. You get the guys number and you make sure you finish your check when you have a a chance to do so. Lastly the severity of the injury should influence the suspension length. The same thing happens everyday in criminal courts all over the world. However it should not be the only factor. Was it a deliberate act or accidental? hat should have a very large bearing what punishment is doled out.

posted by camcanuck at 10:28 AM on March 11, 2004

So, camcanuck, do you agree that McSorley should have only been suspended for 10-14 games max? I mean, Brashear was back in the game within weeks.

posted by mkn at 10:34 AM on March 11, 2004

I think this article hits the nail on the head when trying to figure out what is really wrong with game. Tony Twist on CNN (could they have found anyone worse) says that of instead of attacking Moore the Canucks should have had someone lay a slash across Sakic's ankles?!?! Sigh... that pretty much sums it up. mkn: No I don't think McSorley should have been back in a couple weeks because what he did was deliberate, and his punishment should reflect that. All I'm saying is that if someone else pulled a McSorley and the player wasn't injured (because he was wearing his helmet correctly which Brashear wasn't) then maybe the punishment should be 3/4's of year. If it was worse then maybe it's a lifetime ban. All for the same incident.

posted by camcanuck at 10:50 AM on March 11, 2004

Throwing a pity party for your buddy is in poor taste when he put someone in the hospital with a broken neck. Thank you, rcade. Sticking up for your buddies when they make a mistake is one thing. Sticking up for Bertuzzi when he deliberately tried to injure someone is completely different, and should be taken as tacit approval of the action. What Naslund and the remainder of the Canuck organization should be doing is keeping their traps shut. Hockey has always used severity of injury as a factor in doling out fines and suspensions. I think it's a good policy. From the NHL.com release: "Mr. Bertuzzi will be required to meet with Commissioner Bettman prior to the start of training camp for the 2004-05 season, at which point Mr. Bertuzzi's eligibility will be reviewed in light of all the available facts at that time, including Mr. Moore's physical status and the progression of his recovery." If Steve Moore had ended up with "just" a broken jaw and a concussion out of this, would it make the act any less heinous? So, if Moore gets a blood clot and dies, is Bertuzzi suspended forever? This was an opportunity for the NHL to take a stand and say, "The sucker-punching stupidity stops here. You blatantly attack a guy who isn't even looking at you, you get a year in the crowd to think about it." Instead, the league rolled over on violence again. Reinstatement next season? Give me a break. Bertuzzi will be back, and whether he's changed or not, the implication is that what he did is not that serious, and that's just plain wrong.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:40 AM on March 11, 2004

Sticking up for Bertuzzi when he deliberately tried to injure someone is completely different, and should be taken as tacit approval of the action. No it shouldn't. Supporting a friend that did something stupid is not the same as supporting the stupid thing that a friend did. But, you're right, they should just keep it private right now... though I assume that with the media circus, that ain't particularly easy.

posted by mkn at 12:13 PM on March 11, 2004

Opinion poll

posted by garfield at 12:38 PM on March 11, 2004

Like this New York Post commentary, I think Marc Crawford should have been suspended for inciting the retaliation on Moore and continuing to send enforcers out after they wheeled him off the ice. The NHL needs its coaches to be a moderating force in situations like this, not an instigating one.

posted by rcade at 01:02 PM on March 11, 2004

Same thing was said about Hitchcock and Martin and the Sens/Philly PIMfest. And I agree. I think many Canuck fans hold some responsibility as well, given the feverish mood of the faithful following the Naslund concussion.

posted by garfield at 01:09 PM on March 11, 2004

Interesting. Brain Burke (Vancouver GM) seems to be royally pissed about the fine the team received, and doesn't seem to think much of the decision in regards to Bertuzzi's suspension. To quote Mr. Burke, "The need to plead for Todd's reinstatement requires my meek acceptance of the league's decision,". I must say I'm surpised. Was Burke really thinking Burtuzzi would get off easier? I think Crawfod and Brad May deserve a fine as well as the entire Vancouver team. Here is a link.

posted by camcanuck at 01:59 PM on March 11, 2004

re: the fine to the Canuck organization: "We(the NHL) don't feel they took the temperature down" Nonsense. Complicity on the League's part stoked the fire. And the team's mood festered within the parameters the League allowed to develop.

posted by garfield at 02:11 PM on March 11, 2004

I agree with Burke in regards to the fine. The Bertuzzi suspension is one thing; but fining the TEAM for HIS actions? Where are the fines for Ottawa/Philadelphia? Those were actual team confrontations rather than one or two "villains". We(the NHL) don't feel they took the temperature down I thought that was the job of the officials -- do they get fined, too? Where's their culpability?

posted by mkn at 02:15 PM on March 11, 2004

Naslund's statement didn't sound like "a pity party." He was just saying that there was another side to all this. Again. No one's saying Bertuzzi should get off easier than he's going to. (And I don't know how I became Todd's apologist in this thread. But anyway.) But the media storm around this story (It was the lead story on CNN last night for a while. Isn't there an election or a war somewhere or something those people should be covering?) means that someone's going to stick a microphone in Naslund's face. Which means you run the possibility of him saying something. Now Burke's a whiner of the highest order, so I expect bellyaching from him. In fact, everyone concerned has acted pretty much exactly to order, from the League offices to the papers to the torch-wielding lynch mobs in here and elsewhere. Oh. One other thing: Perhaps the review of the case at the top of next season is a nod to the lockout, so that they don't have an extensive suspension bleeding into the next CBA. That could raise some issues, and if no one plays next year, it won't really matter if Todd's suspended or not, eh?

posted by chicobangs at 02:19 PM on March 11, 2004

Supporting a friend that did something stupid is not the same as supporting the stupid thing that a friend did. This was not "something stupid." This was a criminal act, with very little difference from a common street mugging. I'm afraid if my friend chose to commit an assault on someone, he or she just wouldn't be my friend anymore. And if someone stuck a microphone in my face, I'd either have the damned guts to call the bastard what he is, or I'd keep my mouth shut. Naslund had the same opportunity, he stuck up for Bertuzzi, therefore, tacit approval. Naslund's statement didn't sound like "a pity party." He was just saying that there was another side to all this. No, there isn't. One man, with premeditation, viciously attacked another. End of story. That man should be justly punished, and making excuses for him is a way of trying to lessen the seriousness of his actions.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:27 PM on March 11, 2004

In fact, everyone concerned has acted pretty much exactly to order, from the League offices to the papers to the torch-wielding lynch mobs in here and elsewhere. Bravo.

posted by garfield at 02:36 PM on March 11, 2004

garfield: While I am inclinded to agree with you, the team still holds some responsiblity. Crawford and Burke should have adjusted the environment (for the benifit of their team I might add) and gotten things under control. The league should share some of the blame, but in the end the actions of players are the responsibily of the coach. I also wouldn't be surpised that the NHL lawyers wanted to make sure a finger is pointed at the Canuck organization just in case Steeve Moore ever brings a civil lawsuit against Bertuzzi, the team and the NHL. As for Nasland's comments there is nothing wrong about standing by a teammate. These guys treat each other as if they were family. They are acting just the parents of some kid who just shot someone. It's the typical... 'We don't condone what he/she did, but they're still our child and we will support them'. By the way I think that is the correct thing to do.

posted by camcanuck at 02:37 PM on March 11, 2004

cam, I hear ya, man...I just want the whole issue to be addressed, and not this derogatory piece meal bullshit. Basically, stand up if you think you contributed or could have prevented this from happening, take what is due, and move to install checks and balances to prevent it from happening again: i.e. the League monitors all games as it is, why not compile some data, notice some trends(subjective and objective), and react accordingly. And if it comes to it, issue warnings before a game to let the players know that if any misconducts (assuming the instigator is gone) are issued, the game will be reviewed in its entirety and punishments will be doubled. Imagine if a warning was issued after Moore's hit or Havlat's swing, that for the remainder of the season any game between the two teams would incur double penalties, or some other mechanism to keep the game in check. This also provides legitimacy to possibly disgruntled players, assuming a warning was issued because of a suspension. here's some food for thought....I don't know if I agree, but all possible solutions must be explored.

posted by garfield at 02:53 PM on March 11, 2004

maybe the extra punishment isn't a good idea, or atleast is proven to be ineffective.

posted by garfield at 03:02 PM on March 11, 2004

...End of story. And yet we're still discussing it. I guess it isn't the end of the story, then, is it?

posted by chicobangs at 03:09 PM on March 11, 2004

Perhaps this is a new FPP in a few days, but hockey seems to be in trouble on a lot of levels (the lock-out is still looming). Just at a time when the sport didn't need any more bad press it becomes the lead news story for all the wrong reasons. I don't know how to do it to fix it, but hockey is the only sport I've ever played were there is very much an 'eye for an eye' mentality. Even in football and rugby (both of which I've played) people just don't think that way. No matter how hard your receivers, wide-outs or quarterbacks are hit no one starts thinking about how they are going to 'repay' those deeds. Noone thinks 'If I see that guy running down the field I will clip him... that will teach him to hit our quarterback'. At worst people may complain after the game about how the other teams tackles were a little reckless, but that is it. How do you change that way of thinking?

posted by camcanuck at 03:42 PM on March 11, 2004

...End of story. And yet we're still discussing it. I guess it isn't the end of the story, then, is it? In my mind, it's the end of the story. Again, this is not a mistake. This was assault. If other folks can look past criminal actions committed by their teammates and then publicly support them, good for them. To me, it's supporting the action, and I won't do it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:49 PM on March 11, 2004

wfrazerjr, is there any context to the Naslund quote we've been discussing? I haven't seen it in its original form. Do we have any idea if he addressed Moore, the 'Lanche, the fans and others all before a reporter asked, "How do you think Bert's feeling?". It seems to me that this is one sentence from what could easily have been a twenty minute session with the press. And I'm not sure about the last line of your (on preview: now next to) last comment, but I haven't heard Naslund making any excuses, just saying the situation was tough on his friend. Then again, I haven't seen the quote in it's original form.

posted by 86 at 03:53 PM on March 11, 2004

wfrazerjr, no one's asking you to support what Bertuzzi did. I don't think anyone else is neither. I went out of my way to say exactly that above. But declaring the thread over when we haven't even heard from all the parties concerned yet seems a bit shortsighted, and the more we know the motivations behind what happened, as opposed to merely watching and rewatching that horrifying 3 seconds of videotape, maybe the better our chances of having this not happen again. Or at least as often. You do keep coming back to the thread, though, which says you're not really finished with the discussion either.

posted by chicobangs at 05:12 PM on March 11, 2004

Torch-wielding lynch mobs? I don't think he intended to hurt Moore so badly, but I can't believe there are people here shedding tears for Todd Bertuzzi. One of the NHL's top stars made a premediated attack on another team's player in front of thousands of fans and broke the guy's neck. The media is not overplaying the story. Four weeks ago, Bertuzzi said that Moore was a "piece of shit" and vowed, "no way that puck will be in their lineup in March." Then he kept his promise and broke Moore's freaking neck! Instead of feeling sorry for Bertuzzi, we should be marveling at his good luck. When he bounced Moore's head off the ice, that broken neck could've caused paralysis or even killed the guy. He could be looking at a manslaughter charge. Adding insult to injury, now we have hockey people coming out of the woodwork to defend the principle of retribution in the NHL. There's a lesson I ought to teach the kids in the next basketball league I coach. YMCA sportsmanship my ass. That fat kid has thrown his elbows around one too many times. Bert, go in there and knee the fucker in the balls. Moore, on the other hand, is dealing with a career-threatening injury. If doctors tell him to never play again, does he get to be the victim here, or will we still be talking about how Bertuzzi missed half a season and how hard it was for him to live with the stigma of being a neck-breaker?

posted by rcade at 06:50 PM on March 11, 2004

For clarity: In my mind, it's over (for the third time). That means I thought I had spoken my final word on whether Naslund is an idiot for putting Bertuzzi in a soft light on this. As for making excuses, saying "Oh, he didn't mean to," or "Oh, he's a nice guy" IS a form of excuse. It's a way to try and deflect some of the blame away from Bertuzzi. If that's what one post in here meant by "standing by your teammates," screw that. And what difference does context make? If I spend 20 minutes talking about the D.C. snipers victims and how horrible it all was, then say, "Oh, but Mohammed and Malvo ... they didn't mean to do it. They're really nice guys," does that make me less of a misguided jackass? Discuss the rest of the issue all you like - I will too. But my mind's made up on this one. The rest of you will, of course feel what you like, but to me? He's an asshole.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:22 PM on March 11, 2004

...and the more we know the motivations behind what happened, as opposed to merely watching and rewatching that horrifying 3 seconds of videotape... Motivations? He chased a guy down from behind, clubbed him unconscious and then drove his face into the ice. Who CARES what the motivations were? It was assault! Do I need a psychological profile of Todd Bertuzzi to know the guy has some serious issues? No, I don't. ...maybe the better our chances of having this not happen again. Aside from full work-ups of the character of every NHL player, I have a crazy idea on one way to limit this - suspend the bastard for at least a year, or pitch him out entirely. At least then we know Bertuzzi won't do this again, and it might just stop other people.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:28 PM on March 11, 2004

So you don't want to hear anything else about what was going on in the game. Just string him up, and the next time this happens, someone else gets strung up, and so on, and we never learn anything. Great. You sound like you believe Todd Bertuzzi beamed up from Hell 20 minutes before The Incident specifically to fuck up hockey as we know it. Did I, or anyone here, ever say don't punish him? Did I, or anyone here, ever say to be lenient on him? Guess again. You can gain understanding of something while still being firm about consequences. I don't know if you're clear on that. And I understand and appreciate your visceral hatred of the guy. Really, I do. But playing "I, The Jury" isn't going to make this better.

posted by chicobangs at 09:48 PM on March 11, 2004

wfrazerjr...with all due respect, you are going way overboard here. who are you to say what was going through bertuzzi's mind at the moment? no one here has tried to apologize for the result, but you seem to be the only one suggesting that you know he did it on purpose. the guy was crying about it on tv for chrissake the other night. you know what the real problem is? everyone. everyone who watches, plays, coaches or manages hockey. the media hyped it, the fans hyped it, it was good copy. now someone got hurt because someone stepped over the line. in the heat of the moment. be there once, and you get to judge. till then, you are just like me, a punk ass commentator.

posted by owl at 10:38 PM on March 11, 2004

This is simply philosophical for me, chico. I don't care what was going through his mind. I don't care what other people's definitions of "on purpose" are. I don't care what else was going on in the game. I don't care that it was Todd Bertuzzi, Peggy Fleming or Barney on Ice. One man chased down and savagely beat another man. The reason behind it, to me, is immaterial. If he wasn't suspended for at least a year (and probably should be banned), then in my mind you are being lenient. Not a matter of right or wrong, just a difference of opinion and outlook, I think. You can gain understanding of something while still being firm about consequences. I don't know if you're clear on that. But thanks anyway for throwing in the side order of patronization.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:51 PM on March 11, 2004

I guess you're not worried about others carte blanche judging your mistakes? Have fun with that. Closing your mind to understanding is sad. And to be frank, your opinion is wrong.

posted by garfield at 06:54 AM on March 12, 2004

owl: you seem to be the only one suggesting that you know he did it on purpose. Actually, I believe that I did just that, to start this thread. To be specific, he threw the punch on purpose. It was not an accidental, involuntary action; he was not falling and throwing out his fist to save himself. He threw the punch on purpose. Did he do it thinking, "I'm gonna sucker this guy and send him to the ice and crack two vertebrae in his neck"? Vanishingly unlikely: he did it without knowing the precise damage he would do. But that there could (and likely would) be damage is something that he knew full well. And that is the point. He threw the punch as a deliberate, intentional act, knowing that it could result in harm to someone else. Once he commits such an act, he bears responsibility for the damage. All the damage, whatever it may be. It doesn't matter if he was just trying to "ring his bells". He acted in a way to cause harm, and without the ability to precisely control such harm. He bought the ticket -- now he gets to take the ride.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:12 AM on March 12, 2004

What's to understand? Bertuzzi said the guy wouldn't be playing in March. Now he isn't playing in March. The fact that he's very, very, really upset now doesn't change what he did. You don't always get a do-over when you commit a rash act of violence.

posted by rcade at 07:28 AM on March 12, 2004

Here's a short list: Extenuating circumstances - this is quite a large category. Past history - Bertuzzi is not considered a repeat offender. No one is pushing for removal of blame. But to not even care about salient facts beyond the on-ice incident, and then lobby for extreme punishment displays a lack of understanding. I could've went off on Bertuzzi's dispicable act. But when the 'torch-wielding lynch mob' loses focus of the bigger picture, the 'apologist'(which is a misnomer in this instance) role becomes the voice of reason

posted by garfield at 08:28 AM on March 12, 2004

Past history - Bertuzzi is not considered a repeat offender. So the 10 gamer he got for leaving the bench to enter a fight isn't an issue? It says to me he's a hothead with little to no respect for authority.

posted by MeatSaber at 08:40 AM on March 12, 2004

Not according to Colon Campbell

posted by garfield at 08:53 AM on March 12, 2004

lil_brown_bat: i didn't argue the fact that he bears responsibility for what happened. he does. and i, for one, feel terrible for moore, and his family, and happy that he seems to be feeling well. but there is a big difference here in intent, and whether or not he intended to cause such damage to moore is of issue, especially if you are deciding, as a teamate or a fan, to feel bad for bert too. if you think he is evil and wanted to kill moore and almost succeeded, then you cant feel bad for bert at all, obviously. you are also way out of touch with reality.

posted by owl at 09:07 AM on March 12, 2004

Closing your mind to understanding is sad. And to be frank, your opinion is wrong. Wow.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:30 AM on March 12, 2004

owl: ...there is a big difference here in intent, and whether or not he intended to cause such damage to moore is of issue, especially if you are deciding, as a teamate or a fan, to feel bad for bert too. if you think he is evil and wanted to kill moore and almost succeeded, then you cant feel bad for bert at all, obviously. you are also way out of touch with reality. I was once first on scene of an accident where a drunk driver had hit a pedestrian. The driver was terribly upset and horrified at what he'd done -- and unless he was a saint, which he wasn't, a good part of his horror was at the thought of what the consequences of this screwup would be to him. I felt bad for this drunk driver. He hadn't left the bar intending to mow down a pedestrian...but he did leave the bar intending to get in his car and drive home in an impaired condition. Maybe he thought he could control things that were in fact beyond his control.

Maybe Bertuzzi felt the same way when he threw that punch -- when he knowingly, intentionally committed that act. If so, he and that driver were both horribly wrong in believing that their act would have no serious consequences. They were incredibly stupid -- and not necessarily hard-core evil, but I don't know that that lets them off much at all. Yes, I do feel sorry, in a way, for someone who commits a foolish and thoughtless act and is then called upon to bear responsibility for consequences that are far in excess of what they expected. But should it really matter that they didn't intend to cause the damage, when they knew that their action could cause the damage?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:49 AM on March 12, 2004

Closing your mind to understanding is sad. And to be frank, your opinion is wrong. Are there Canucks homers in this thread? I can't believe the abuse people are dishing out here because people don't share their opinion about how Bertuzzi's neck-breaking assault should be punished. This place is fun when passions get the better of people, but come on. Stop attacking wfrazerjr because he doesn't want to hear that Todd Bertuzzi's deep-seated rage began when his mother refused to nurse him.

posted by rcade at 10:27 AM on March 12, 2004

frazer, sorry about my being so blunt.....its a weakness of mine. A statement of that tone needs alot more explanation. I know opinions can't be wrong, and you're entitled to yours, as is everyone. I just had a bad reaction to the 'string him up' mentality of the last few days. On preview: you're right rcade.

posted by garfield at 10:33 AM on March 12, 2004

And no, I'm not a homer.....though I have an affinity for the guy after following his career relatively closely for a guy not on the Leafs.

posted by garfield at 10:34 AM on March 12, 2004

lil_brown_bat, sorry you ever had to part of such an incident with the drunk driver. personally, i hope i never have too, and i hope the pedestrian wasnt killed or paralysed. its an interesting comparison you make, but i dont think the situations are quite analogous, and here is why: first, the driver decided to go to a bar and drink. no pressure. then, the driver decided to drive to the bar. again, a choice made clearly. knowing that drinking after driving is wrong, and dangerous. then the driver decided to have more alchohol than the law allows one to have before driving. then the driver decided to drive. bert, on the other hand, made one clearly wrong choice in the heat of the moment. or at least, thats the way it appeared to me. neither of the results are excusable, but i do think one shows much more of a reckless disregard for others safety leading up to the results. the other thing is that hockey is by its nature risky. they play on cold slick concrete, basically. every legal and illegal check has the possiblity of horrible consequences. in every fight, someone could fall down the wrong way. most of these nuckleheads wont even wear their helmet correctly. most of the time these sucker punches and slashes and boardings dont cause the damage that happened this time. so could bert have reasonably forseen the outcome? maybe, maybe not. i dont think he did, and i believe his nature is one thats vicious enough to have forseen it and then gone ahead and done it anyway, unlike the drunk driver. its what makes it possible for me to feel bad for bert unlike the drunk driver. and i dont see why i cant feel bad for bert and yet place the blame squarely on his shoulders for what happened, all the same.

posted by owl at 11:01 AM on March 12, 2004

bert, on the other hand, made one clearly wrong choice in the heat of the moment. or at least, thats the way it appeared to me. If you watch the longer version of the clip, you'll see Bertuzzi stalking Moore (no better word for it). He follows him like a lion does an antelope (Bertuzzi is bigger by about 2 inches and 40 pounds), staying one step behind him for a good 10 to 15 seconds. The whole time, Moore is facing away from him, while Todd stares intently at the back of his head, completely ignoring the play (and people) around him. When Moore ignores him for the last time and turns left to go back up the ice, Bertuzzi stays close, like he's tethered to him. He then reaches out grabs his jersey and...well, we know the rest. This was not a heat-of-the-moment attack. This was a planned mugging.

posted by grum@work at 11:14 AM on March 12, 2004

This was a planned mugging. The mugging wasn't planned. He was following him around, jawing at him to drop the gloves. That was the planned part. The mugging part was heat of the moment.

posted by garfield at 11:54 AM on March 12, 2004

Really? And furthermore, who cares? He could have been planning to fight him or he could have been planning to give him flowers, but what he did was club him in the side of the head/face, knock him out, throw his body on top of him, drive his head into the ice, break his neck and risk his career. All of this was the direct result of his actions and frankly, I can't think of anyway this goes off without Bertuzzi thinking, "I'ma fuck this dude up." It doesn't happen without that thought. You don't accidently or unintentionally do what he did. And if it wasn't unintentional...

posted by 86 at 12:01 PM on March 12, 2004

garfield, maybe I'm confused. What exactly are you trying to point out here? We've talked about this, but I don't get the point you're trying to get across. Bertuzzi's not that bad? The act wasn't that bad? Moore is partly responsible? The league is? I've re-read your comments here, but I'm still not clear.

posted by 86 at 12:05 PM on March 12, 2004

86, if you have read the posts either garfield or me made, i think the point is pretty clear - bert screwed up, badly hurt someone, the blame falls squarely on his shoulders, but he certainly didnt mean to break anyone's neck, is likely not the kind of person who would be capable of meaning to break someone's neck, didn't plan to knock him out, and then slam him to the ice, we thought the apology was sincere (at least, i did) and its ok to feel bad for a guy that fucked up. can i make this clear to everyone: im not defending his actions. i am saying the apology was sincere, its ok for his teammates to support him, and that by saying so i dont think it takes one iota of blame or fault away from bertuzzi.

posted by owl at 12:15 PM on March 12, 2004

i am saying the apology was sincere, I agree, but he really shouldn't have said "I didn't mean to hurt him." Yes he did, but not that much. It stands out like a sore thumb in his apology and may cause people to ignore the rest of it as "insincere". its ok for his teammates to support him, Yup. Nothing wrong with that. All I'd ask is one of them say "What he did was wrong." I don't know if one of them has said that. If not, it's still okay to support the teammate, not the action. and that by saying so i dont think it takes one iota of blame or fault away from bertuzzi. Agreed.

posted by grum@work at 12:21 PM on March 12, 2004

I'm saying it wasn't a pre-meditated: the 'i'm going to attack him from behind' part. I'm trying to make a distinction comparable to the difference between manslaughter and murder. The desire to go after Moore is unquestioned.

posted by garfield at 12:42 PM on March 12, 2004

And, I guess I don't have a problem with a player deciding to go after someone, just have the other guy agree to drop the gloves first.

posted by garfield at 12:44 PM on March 12, 2004

For what it's worth, here is my stance on the issue. I'm not sure intent needs to come into this, except to say it clearly wasn't an accident. Judging from what I know abut Bertuzzi, it's clear he didn't mean to break the guys neck. This in no way changes anything because we're not judging on what he intended to do, we're judging him on what happened and he broke the dude's neck during an intentional act of illegal agression. The teammates can speak all they want. I have no problem with what they said, largely because I don't know everything they said. Like grum, I'd have like to have heard more concern for Moore from them, but they may have said such things and had it gone unreported (to me). The suspension was dead on. If A) The Nucks are knocked early or B) Moore is out a long time (or forever) it needs to be extended. For B, it would need to be extended at least half of the next year. Crawford needs to be suspended as well. Even one second of talk about 'a bounty' is one second too much. That's not accepable. Bryan Trottier was suspended for throwing goons on the ice in the last three second of the game... The same standard should have and could have been applied here. And oh yeah, all Canadians are all violent people. Y'all need to chill.

posted by 86 at 01:05 PM on March 12, 2004

86, hockey's rules allow for 'intent' to be part of the equation.

posted by garfield at 01:12 PM on March 12, 2004

....as we are judging on what happened, and not just the moment Moore's vertebrae was fractured.

posted by garfield at 01:18 PM on March 12, 2004

So, tell me again why checking and hits and retaliation and "enforcers" are considered such "quintessential" parts of hockey? Can we not enjoy the game without the "built-in" violence and the encouragement of risk of injury? What's up with that? Why is it legal for someone to skate all the way up the ice and bang someone into the boards and then sit on them? It's all great for the bloodlust, but really, is it what hockey is "all about?" Would hockey really suffer without these violent elements? I'm asking as the non-hockey fanatic or traditionalist, with no sarcasm intended or implied. Just educate me.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:24 PM on March 12, 2004

If I'm getting this correctly, Bertuzzi: a) made blatant statements about taking Moore out for the rest of the season; b) stalked Moore for 10-15 seconds in the game, which in hockey time is an eon; c) repeatedly tried to goad Moore into a fight, which failed; d) attacked Moore from behind by clubbing him in the side of the head; e) smashed Moore's head into the ice. So when do we get to the point where Bertuzzi didn't mean to do grevious harm to Moore? Can you really say Bertuzzi just meant to rough him up a little? I think the reason we're all so freaked about this is the manner in which it happened is so different from other hockey aggression. Don't treat it like another hockey fight. This was an assault, and if you want to judge on intent, explain how Bertuzzi's actions, not his apology afterward, makes this less than criminal.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:36 PM on March 12, 2004

wc2k2, I think I'm slightly biased, but hockey is unique when it comes to violence. Due to the nature of the sport (high speed, enclosed arena, armor, weapons, certain instances when all of these elements combine on a regular basis), hockey tends to stir a huge emotional response from participants. I don't know of any other sport where skill can be superceded by effort. It's the nature of the beast. I'd like to think hockey could survive without fighting, but to be honest, I think the recent rash of brawling is a direct result of the instigator rule being in effect. So, in a sense, I think there should be more fighting, in hopes of there being less severe fights. It sounds crazy, but I think players need to let those emotions out, or else they emotions go rotten and people act out of character. People cheered when Moore flopped to the ground. Only when it was apparent he wasn't getting up was there pause. Indict Bertuzzi. I do. ok frazer: intent: to send message to moore. which could include wanting to break his face, figuratively, though with real possibility of actually breaking his face. This is a common pre meditated intent in the NHL, and is less than criminal. The non pre meditated freak out was not his intent. Intent requires thought, and he wasn't thinking. He was just doing. This doesn't diminish his responsibility for what happened, but it does diminish the extent to which you can accuse him of criminality. I'm glad you brought up the pre-game threats. That is also part of my argument that fault lies with the team, the league, the media and the fans. Go check out blogs prior the game. The blood lust was ripe. People were not dealing with the rivlary rationally. Atleast from the Canuck side of things. Shit, the city was pissed heads didn't roll in the first game after the Naslund hit.

posted by garfield at 01:47 PM on March 12, 2004

WC, the things you mention are as much a part of the game as skilled passing, great goalscoring and superior netminding are. Part of the fun of watching hockey is the physical bits. I've always been a fan of guys like Robbie DiMaio and P.J. Stock, who are smallish but dont hesitate to throw down with the big guys. The meathead, adrenaline-fueled parts of a game are often the highlights. Good fights or solid open-ice checks are great to watch. Maybe it seems a bit archaic or barbaric, but there you have it. I love hockey for the skill in a great pass, an amazing save, or a crazy deke. But I'd be kdding myself if I didn't say that I love a good fight, too. That's hockey. All of it.

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:52 PM on March 12, 2004

Wow... you leave for a while and whole place goes crazy. ;-) My opinion on Bert's apology: He didn't mean to break the guys neck. His actions were premeditated, but the results were not (does that make sense?). It was sincere. What Bert failed to anticipate was the first punch knocking out Moore and him falling into the ice. That is where all the damage happend. In Bert's mind I'm sure he just figured he would get one shot in, Moore would turtle on the ice and if he was lucky he would land a couple more shots before he get tackled. Does it make what he did any better? No way. He is getting what he deserves, but I believe him when he says I'm sorry. I'll try to address woldcup2002's question. You cannot take hitting and checking out of hockey anymore than you could take it out of rugby and football. It is part of what makes it a game we love. Garfield and samsonov14 sum it up better than I ever could. As far as retaliation goes I touched on this in an early post. A little is a good thing, but more often than not if gets waaay out of hand. I don't know why so many players feel that in order to retaliate they have to do it outside of the rules of the game. In fact Hockey may be the only major sport were the rules allow you to retaliate a little. Why is it that if I hit your star player with a clean hit the first reaction by a lot of fans and players is to hunt me down and give me a 2 handed slash across my leg?

posted by camcanuck at 02:04 PM on March 12, 2004

grum, agree, but he really shouldn't have said "I didn't mean to hurt him." Yes he did, but not that much. It stands out like a sore thumb in his apology and may cause people to ignore the rest of it as "insincere". cant argue with that. i think he meant 'not that much', but didn't say it right. press conferences are rough. a) made blatant statements about taking Moore out for the rest of the season; no, he said 'there is no way that guy is on the ice in march'. because he figured the avalanche wouldn't play a guy who would have to put up the fists every time he stepped on the ice. b) stalked Moore for 10-15 seconds in the game, which in hockey time is an eon; c) repeatedly tried to goad Moore into a fight, which failed; those are the same two things; happens all the time. d) attacked Moore from behind by clubbing him in the side of the head; e) smashed Moore's head into the ice. in the heat of the moment, frustrated by moores refusal to fight, he did a dumbass stupid thing, yes. So when do we get to the point where Bertuzzi didn't mean to do grevious harm to Moore? Can you really say Bertuzzi just meant to rough him up a little? see camcanucks post above.

posted by owl at 02:30 PM on March 12, 2004

I cannot believe the Bertuzzi apologists here. Moore's career is most likely over as it was starting. You remember Moore, the victim of this assault? Who really cares to what extent Bertuzzi meant to hurt Moore at this point. The "heat of the moment" thing, not gonna fly. While injuries sustained may have been worse than planned, the attack itself was most definitely premeditated. He took the kid's liveliehood, which is not tolerable in any sport. By the hockey logic around here, Bertuzzi must be retaliated against when he returns to the game, and what will suffice there for a broken neck and ended career? Maybe they'll just shoot him, "in the heat of the moment", of course. I still say Bertuzzi's suspension should be until Moore returns to NHL hockey. Next season, a year, never...whatever. Ahh hell, on second thought, let's just make the NHL into Rollerball and call it a day. Probably would get better ratings and save the league anyhow. JOHNATHON! JOHNATHON! JOHNATHON!

posted by pivo at 03:12 PM on March 12, 2004

uhhh...who apologized for bertuzzi? in almost all of my posts i mentioned moore. i think its terrible what happened to him. you may be happy to hear that he is expected to recover fully, i am, im sure he and his family are and everyone who saw/heard what happened, whether they are fans of the game or not.

posted by owl at 03:23 PM on March 12, 2004

Intent requires thought, and he wasn't thinking. He was just doing. He said before the game he planned to hurt Moore that's thinking. He chased Moore down when Moore turned his back plenty of time to think. He fully cocked his arm back and then blasted him upside the head maybe thinking, maybe not, but he made the conscious effort to do it. He smashed his face into the ice while taking him down conscious effort and blatant intent to injure. Your rebuttal? who are you to say what was going through bertuzzi's mind at the moment? in the heat of the moment. be there once, and you get to judge. till then, you are just like me, a punk ass commentator. i think he meant 'not that much', but didn't say it right. press conferences are rough. in the heat of the moment, frustrated by moores refusal to fight, he did a dumbass stupid thing, yes. So who's trying to read Bertuzzi's mind here? I'm using the evidence we all have the actions. It seems others are trying to impose their thoughts and feelings on him, but all we have to work with is what we know, and to me it's damning. He said he meant to take the guy out, and he did so. What's to argue?

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:49 PM on March 12, 2004

rebuttal: Please provide a quote. I have yet to see the words "I am going to hurt Moore." Vague threats and innuendos are commonplace. We can match description for description all day long. I say he was thinking rationally until it clicked that Moore wasn't gonna take the bait. Legal terminology may refer to this as temporary insanity. I call it 'losing it'. Whatever, I didn't define 'thinking' and won't, as sane thought is one of the most elusive things one could try and define. All I know is if he was thinking, he wouldn't have done it. Ergo, he was merely doing. And if you're refering to the 'not playing in March' comment. That could be a first stringer talking down to a fourth liner about having the balls to take out a star, knowing in the back of his mind the coach probably/might not be playing him when the games really matter. How do you know what he meant by whatever quote you are referring to? Please forgive the insensitivity to Moore in that analysis, but its a very good possibility. Read this, it somewhat mirrors where I'm coming from.

posted by garfield at 04:22 PM on March 12, 2004

I'd rather digest the situation than lynch somebody, but that's just me.

posted by garfield at 04:27 PM on March 12, 2004

Garfield: Your own link provides clear evidence it was a premeditated attack: "Canucks players have been talking for weeks at getting even with Moore. ... anybody that follows either team in the Western Conference had been buzzing about what the payback would be for weeks. Everybody knew the Canucks would be out for Moore's head on a platter."

posted by rcade at 04:35 PM on March 12, 2004

rcade... "Canucks players have been talking for weeks at getting even with Moore. ... anybody that follows either team in the Western Conference had been buzzing about what the payback would be for weeks. Everybody knew the Canucks would be out for Moore's head on a platter." Up til this incident with Bertuzzi players routinly threatened each other in this manor and almost every time all it ever amounted to was a big brawl. The most recent example would be the absolute hatred the Wings and Avs had for one another after Chris Drapper was driven into the boards mouth first (I think the offending party was Claude Lemiuex, but I might be wrong). In hockey, talk like that doesn't mean 'I'm comin' to break your neck'. I can't say I agree with threats like that, but in hockey they happen all the time.

posted by camcanuck at 04:50 PM on March 12, 2004

That's open to interpretation. If it was so clear, why didn't the league step in beforehand. Just making a point. I disagree. As I stated above, the premeditation is not in question when concerning the chasing, the pestering, the score settling, and the like. I just don't believe the premeditation went so far as to involve hitting someone from behind. That is the point where the premeditation stops, imo. I don't think they sat in the lockerroom saying they'd get him whatever it takes. I think they sat in the lockerroom saying how they'd get him, in a number of conventional ways.

posted by garfield at 04:51 PM on March 12, 2004

McSorley weighs in. Take what you want out of it.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:07 PM on March 12, 2004

First things first, garf: my answer to your link is that Jeffery Morris is an idiot. Trying to deflect blame to Granato for having Moore on the ice is akin to blaming a rape victim for being at a frat party it speaks to the environment as opposed to the act. No one forced Bertuzzi to do what he did, and it's demeaning to Moore or any victim to divert culpability from the criminal. Also, his labeling of Moore's hit on Naslund as a "cheap shot" is questionable, at best. Reaction to the play was mixed throughout the league, but there was certainly no outcry afterward. It wasn't out of the ordinary or heinous. Moore wasn't suspended, he wasn't even penalized ... where's the "cheap" part? My God, it isn't even enough that Naslund said it wasn't a dirty hit, and called for the Canucks to focus on playing hockey? Morris also says "rookies should not give cheap shots to superstars," which sounds to me as if he's saying it would have been just fine if it had been Brad May hitting an Avs player in exactly the same fashion as Moore hit Naslund. Idiocy. Here's the exact quote from Bertuzzi after Moore leveled Naslund on Feb. 26: "That kid's a piece of (garbage)," he said. "No way that puck will be in their lineup in March." No, Bertuzzi doesn't out-and-out say he plans to "hurt Moore," but how vague is it he said Moore's not going to be playing in March? What the hell else could he have meant? He was sending Moore on a cruise? Going to have him kidnapped? Did Bertuzzi have to say, "I plan to sucker-punch you, then jump on your back and hopefully break your neck," for it to be premeditated? I'm going by a standard of reasonable doubt here ... and I find Bertuzzi guilty. As for quotes, can you give me a couple links to instances where a player said another player wouldn't be in a game later in the season? After all, it happens all the time, right? Finally, the "temporary insanity" plea. Great, I'd settle for that. It means a lifetime suspension in my book. If Bertuzzi can't keep it together enough to stop himself from sucker-punching a guy and breaking his neck, he shouldn't be in the league, should he? He's already proven himself a menace, and if the NHL puts him back on the ice and he does something similar, what then?

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:22 PM on March 12, 2004

And having Marty McSorley comment on this situation is like having Charles Manson pipe up about the O.J. Simpson trial. ESPN should be ashamed for even quoting him.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:24 PM on March 12, 2004

Watching the Vancouver/Edmonton game tonight, and at the second intermission, Marcus Nasland was interviewed. He said he feels bad for Todd, and the team hopes it can do something to "make Todd proud." Not a word about Moore. On second thought, he's an even bigger asshole.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:36 PM on March 12, 2004

wfrazerjr, sorry, but i think you just dont follow hockey well enough. you have a right to your opinion. best to moore. owl

posted by owl at 12:06 AM on March 13, 2004

Jeez. Looks like I've been wrong to assume that Bertuzzi's status as one of the NHL's best players meant that he wasn't a violent hothead. Frazer's right about Naslund digging himself in deeper by showing sympathy only for Bertuzzi. What a class act these Canucks are turning out to be.

posted by rcade at 09:36 AM on March 13, 2004

grum, nice work. I'd really like to see some footage of Bertuzzi attacking a bus. That would be quite amusing.

posted by garfield at 12:18 PM on March 13, 2004

In terms of the legal aspects of Bertuzzi's attack on Moore, here are a couple of lawyer's opinions as to whether Moore would have a civil case against Bertuzzi. I found this interesting, though: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he hopes the matter does not go to court. "We believe we are adequately and appropriately policing our own game," he said. No wonder the NHL's having such a tough time lately. It's being run by a comedian!

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:30 PM on March 13, 2004

Here also is some information on Jimmy Mann, who 22 years ago sucker-punched Paul Gardner and broke his jaw in two places. He talks about the "black cloud" it put over his career, but again - why would a professional league ever put a guy back in a game who said he blacked out and assaulted someone? Isn't this a huge risk on their part?

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:42 PM on March 13, 2004

Opinion Poll: Instigator Rule

posted by garfield at 12:52 PM on March 13, 2004

NHL ignores own inaction.

posted by garfield at 02:25 PM on March 13, 2004

Mike Lupica and other columnists are comparing this to Kermit Washington nearly killing Rudy Tomjonovich with a sucker punch in the '70s. Bertuzzi may have hung an albatross around his neck forever; Washington was never the same after he savaged the much smaller Tomjonovich without warning.

posted by rcade at 02:59 PM on March 13, 2004

Quotes from around the hockey world.

posted by garfield at 03:40 PM on March 13, 2004

Hitchcock weighs in.

posted by garfield at 03:41 PM on March 13, 2004

And since every hockeyblog I visit links to this, I figured it should be here too.

posted by garfield at 03:43 PM on March 13, 2004

I miss Hitchcock. Although it's not like his Dallas Stars didn't have a few games where Derian Hatcher drew a bullseye on someone in response to some past transgression. Perhaps he's admitting that in his comments.

posted by rcade at 08:02 PM on March 13, 2004

And having Marty McSorley comment on this situation is like having Charles Manson pipe up about the O.J. Simpson trial. ESPN should be ashamed for even quoting him. Even hungover, that made me laugh, wfrazerjr. I'm surprised you thought of that idea before the Fox network did.

posted by Samsonov14 at 09:27 AM on March 14, 2004

Sammy, don't forget that wfrazer is a professional journalist. Unlike the amateurs at Fox...

posted by billsaysthis at 11:21 AM on March 14, 2004

Anti-hockey media bias?

posted by garfield at 03:27 PM on March 14, 2004

Pro-hockey apologist.

posted by rcade at 10:22 AM on March 15, 2004

"Frazer's right about Naslund digging himself in deeper by showing sympathy only for Bertuzzi. What a class act these Canucks are turning out to be." i don't think that is the case. i think the media are focussing on what sells papers. see: " The players find themselves in an awkward position. All express wishes for Moore's quick recovery but also stand by their teammate. " and: " On Tuesday, Naslund called Bertuzzi a close friend who had no intention of hurting anyone. Still, Naslund's voice caught with emotion as he tried to describe his reaction to an ugly incident that has been replayed countless times on television. "I was stunned to see what happened, as far as how the punch hit him, him falling and hitting the ice," said Naslund. " tends to suggest they _are_ saying things about moore, but not getting quoted, as opposed to what they say about bertuzzi.

posted by owl at 11:52 AM on March 15, 2004

I'd direct this to Owl, but since I don't follow hockey well enough, he won't be interested in my response anyway: the media can only report what's being said. I watched the interview with Naslund myself between periods of the 'Nucks/Oilers games, and the man said absolutely nothing about Moore. He was concerned only with Bertuzzi. Is this a suggestion that there some sort of conspiracy theory at work in the hockey media not to publicize sympathy by the Canucks for Moore?

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:33 PM on March 15, 2004

wfrazer, Naslund is Bertuzzi's best friend, and vice versa. That fact may play into his comments, and prior knowledge of that fact may alter your opinion of his comments. It does for me.

posted by garfield at 12:36 PM on March 15, 2004

Pro-hockey apologist however biased, atleast I have a valid frame of reference.

posted by garfield at 12:38 PM on March 15, 2004

wjfrazerjr, look at the first quote. it quite clearly indicates that they aren't reporting _everything_ the players are saying with the same emphasis. on top of that, if you can say with a straight face that the media _always_ reports quotes accurately, and all of them unbiasedly, and only ever reports what is being said, then I will absolutely cease any and all arguments i have against your stand on this issue as well as kiss your butt on any and all future stands you take. as for whether i would be interested in your response...huh?

posted by owl at 01:04 PM on March 15, 2004

After seeing the list of outbursts in Todd's career, would asking for a steroid test be too much to ask? Sounds like 'roid rage to me...

posted by MeatSaber at 01:25 PM on March 15, 2004

Garf, a friend of mine picked up his second DUI about two years ago. We went out to lunch one day shortly after that and he was upset about it, and said his wife was also very upset, possibly to the point of leaving. My response was that I would have dumped his ass already, and that if his wife did leave him, I would go after her myself, as he must be some incredible dumbass to lose a great woman and a nice kid because he wanted to drink and get behind the wheel. I think if you're really friends with someone, you tell them the truth, and if someone asks you and you feel you have to respond, you tell them the truth also. So, no, I don't think the fact Bertuzzi and Naslund are buddies is going to alter my opinion of Naslund's reaction. As for the media, owl, I said nothing of the kind. As the general manager and chief newswriter for a paper, I know you are absolutely correct in saying not every word of every conversation gets quoted. But right now, I believe newspapers would be very inclined to print sympathetic statements from the Canucks, and yet they have been few and far between. One other thing the story you linked appeared Wednesday, which means the quotes were taken between 24-36 hours after the incident. At that time, it wouldn't have seemed like a big deal to the writer to quote all the well-wishers verbatim. It seemed natural, and I do remember seeing a few Canuck quotes about hoping Moore recovered. I can also understand that after a while, you wouldn't keep wishing Moore well, as you would have already done that enough. But I'm saying I don't grasp how saying you are pulling for Bertuzzi and hope to make him proud without at least mentioning Moore doesn't sound cold to people. It's either talk about both or talk about neither. I just wonder if the Canucks have been told by management not to talk about Moore. That would make more sense to me than the cold shoulder. as for whether i would be interested in your response...huh? I was going from this: wfrazerjr, sorry, but i think you just dont follow hockey well enough. you have a right to your opinion. best to moore. owl

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:38 PM on March 15, 2004

i hate it when you guys fight. now, can't we all just have a nice civilized kind conversation about Pete Rose/Steroids/the presumed guilt of Barry Bonds based on the size of his noggin/Red Sox-Yankees and their fans/Iraq/George Bush? any of those.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:15 PM on March 15, 2004

frazer, I hear ya, and I don't have to tell you that you did the right thing. But the analogy is flawed. How is this for comparison: You get mugged, wallet stolen, etc. Your friend runs down the street to catch the culprit. He ends up pummeling the thief, and then is brought up on charges of assault, etc. I think you see the difference. You'd have your friend's back, no matter what, even if he did go overboard a bit. I should also clarify the 'best friend' statement as being his best friend on the team. on preview: jgirl, you're right. and im one of the worst. ever since last week when I proclaimed an opinion 'wrong' i've taken a step back and tried to be less inflammatory. so please, anyone, feel free to call me out when i sound like a combative ass.

posted by garfield at 03:21 PM on March 15, 2004

LOL, garf, c'mon! So you said I was wrong! It's cool! I mean, how bad can it all be when you get to use the phrase "combative ass?" And jgirl, I haven't fought. I've just reacted to some posts that I felt were personal, that's all. Garf, I can't buy that anaolgy. In that analogy, someone has committed a crime and my buddy is reacting. What did Moore do? Yes, yes, I know, he checked Naslund, but we've been through all that already. Moore isn't a criminal. He's not guilty of anything in the eyes of the NHL. Bertuzzi's the guilty one.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:22 PM on March 15, 2004

tru nuf. I was working more from the emotional response than from the legal facts.

posted by garfield at 05:17 PM on March 15, 2004

ok, now hug.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:12 PM on March 15, 2004

wfrazerjr, well - i was having a few drinks friday before i posted that, and honestly i had a lot more to say than what is there. i thought i had cancelled it, but looks like not. so my bad, obviously i have no idea how much you follow hockey. i was going to go more along the lines of how the media fed the frenzy as much as the fans ate it up, how it was common, how players give these quotes all the time and nothing majour comes of it but a fight. like a coach recently saying a player's teeth would be fed to him after a 490 minute filled penalty game that resulted in no suspensions, and there are no fines to the comments, no suspensions, no censure, just a _ton_ of talk about bad blood between the canada team coaches - that is how hockey and the media have worked together till now. how another player crosschecked a guy into the boards, broke his collar bone and risked breaking his neck, but received neither media attention nor a suspension (now the subject of a post on its own for today. you say you think its classless that no one offered words to moore, when i point out that they weren't being quoted on it individually, you say 'oh thats no big deal, it was too soon, the writer did the normal thing". what? it's the thing you were just complaining about. i respect the fact that you have newspaper experience exceeding mine to the nth degree, but at the end of the day i have to say that the facts here are in disagreement with your feelings about writers. and, its all normal in hockey. as for the recent analogy with your friend - well we discussed drunk drivers before up above (many, many posts ago). the analogy is false, imho. but even condeeding it isn't, did you write about it in your paper, or even write a letter about it to another paper publicly condemning him, or did you tell him privately? that said, i have enjoyed the debate we've had/are having. sorry again about the drunk half assed thought.

posted by owl at 07:05 PM on March 15, 2004

No, owl, my point about the quotes not all being printed is: news is what's unusual, not the standard stuff. So if a fellow gets hurt, you expect people to say they hope the guy recovers, and the writer said so by paraphrasing. Now, however, the media are picking up on the fact that aside from that night, none of the Canucks are saying a word about Moore, and you're hearing about it in the form of columns and whatnot. Their apparent lack of concern is what's driving people like me and some NHL media to wonder what's up -- gag order? not sure how to react? just plain jerks? The quotes you are always hearing, especially in the wake of the Bryan Marchment incident, normally don't lead to something like this, but that's why the Bertuzzi reaction is so unusual and needs to be treated as such. You hear all these other horrible things, but then you end up with a one-on-one fight, which I don't view as a big deal. The decision that has to be reached is -- are we just going to ignore the tough talk and deal with the rare assault, or are we going to start suspending people for opening their yaps and saying they plan to hurt someone? As for the drunk driving anaolgy -- we don't even live in the same state, but why would I write about it in my paper? Who cares about my friend except me? If someone had asked me, for whatever reason, for a quote about it, yes, I would have lit his ass up and said something about the victims, if this had been that type of situation.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:13 PM on March 15, 2004

the week that was

posted by garfield at 08:46 AM on March 16, 2004

wfrazerjr - so it's not good enough to express concern once, because its too early in the process, and therefore not newsworthy? you have to wait until the right time? who's right time? or, you have to keep expressing it. if you don't keep expressing it, you are a jerk, or under a gag order, or... the fact that the news doesn't normally lead up to this is entirely the point. the news never causes these incidents, they just hype them. the same bloodthirsty reporting which hyped the game led to overwrought calls for the villain's head after the game. but who reported about marchment? not many. who applauded the brawl between ottawa and philly? many. who is virtually ignoring all the other incidents that have or could have resulted in serious injury this year in the nhl or other sports? the media. who is picking and choosing? the media. regardless, much of this discussion is engendered because you are convinced that bertuzzi stalked a guy, and then tried to kill him. im convinced what happened to moore was a unintended consequence, if terrible, of an un-premeditated emotional response (which is why the DUI analogy breaks down in my mind, read above). bertuzzi's apology was sincere (the original point of the thread). bertuzzi deserved a pretty severe punishment, and he got it - one of the most severe ever. while i might be a canuck fan, i'm not so rabid a fan that i would defend that position unless i truly felt so. i think we are getting far enough off-topic here to move this to the recent thread on marchment.

posted by owl at 09:20 AM on March 16, 2004

fair enough, owl ... agree to disagree :) see ya in the Marchment thread, where I hope we can both agree that he's a knob and the NHL is about as balanced as my diet.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:10 AM on March 16, 2004

Garfield: My pro-hockey apologist comment was an assessment of this commentary, not anything you've written here.

posted by rcade at 10:20 AM on March 16, 2004

"see ya in the Marchment thread, where I hope we can both agree that he's a knob and the NHL is about as balanced as my diet." hehe - yours and mine both.

posted by owl at 10:50 AM on March 16, 2004

ok...sorry...guilty conscience.

posted by garfield at 11:11 AM on March 16, 2004

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