Hockey Critic

Bertuzzi pleads guilty, gets slap on the wrist

We all remember when the Crown Attorney in British Columbia began his investigation into the Todd Bertuzzi attack on Steve Moore and decided to charge the Vancouver Canuck forward. One would have expected that there would be some kind of a trial but after a few months of "investigating", the powers to be in BC agreed to a plea bargin with Bertuzzi that would see him walk away from the assault charge having to do some token community service. Since Bertuzzi was a first time offender, most legal experts seem to find this deal quite normal. But the one big difference being that unlike Joe Sixpack who might find himself in a similar situation, Bertuzzi's pre-meditated assault was very well documented and has been played quite a few times on television. I can't imagine what took the Crown Attorney close to six months and probably tens of thousands of BC taxpayer dollars to simply do nothing.

As is often the case the victim seems to be getting the bum rap. I noticed this in comments from two ex-hockey players on a Toronto sports radio station (Fan 590). The first comment came from ex-goon Nick Kypreos who is currently an analyst with Sportsnet. Mr Kypreos was of the opinion that Steve Moore should "be a man" and "write down his price on a piece of paper" so that the NHL, Canucks and Bertuzzi could make him go away. I couldn't really believe what Nick said on the air and I think host Bob McCowan even made him repeat the comments, but come on - the victim should never have to go through this type of crap.

Today the same radio station had ex-NHLer Steven Rice during a call-in segment of its morning show. Rice was adamant that the courts almost never have any reason to be involved in NHL matters and that he being a "close friend" of Bertuzzi thought that poor Bert was getting shafted in the media. You see, as per Rice he has talked to Bertuzzi several times (Rice and Bert play golf 3 times a week in the summer) and no one feels worse about the incident than Todd Bertuzzi. Well, I have an fyi for Rice - its probably not too far fetched to assume that Steve Moore probably does feel worse and I am pretty sure he didn't spend his summer playing golf 3 times a week.

Some reports indicate that doctors deemed Moore's injuries to be roughly the equivalent of being beaten with a baseball bat. His fractured vertebrae apparently came close to severing a major artery. He had a 40 minute permanent memory gap - ie, no memory of what happened 20 minutes before or after the attack (a 4 minute gap is considered severe). He still suffers from the effects of the severe concussion and it is still not clear whether he will fully heal or be able to play hockey in the NHL.

Steve Moore will be speaking later this morning and it is possible that Moore will file a civil lawsuit in this matter. IMO it is likely that Moore's NHL career is over. Not only was he a fringe NHLer, Bertuzzi is a star player and with pro-hockey being a small circle, it is highly likely that Steve Moore (and maybe even his brothers) will be frozen out of the game.
posted at 11:06:14 on 12/23/04 by HockeyCritic - Category: Hockey Talk

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