Hockey fights are "part of the game" they say. How about this one?
police [are] investigating a sucker punch and a face-first slam by the Canucks All-Star forward Todd Bertuzzi that left the Colorado Avalanche's Steve Moore hospitalized with a broken neck, a concussion and deep facial cuts.
In the third period of Colorado's 9-2 victory at Vancouver on Monday, Bertuzzi struck Moore from behind, punched him in the side of the head, then drove his head into the ice. After the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Bertuzzi landed on top of him, Moore lay in a pool of blood for several minutes. He was removed on a stretcher, and Bertuzzi was assessed a match penalty for attempt to injure. Moore, 25, a rookie center, remains hospitalized in Vancouver and will miss the rest of the season....
There is a history here, and Vancouver has a problem:
Moore was at the center of a controversy a month ago after delivering a questionable blow to Vancouver's captain, Markus Naslund, who led the league in scoring at the time. No penalty was called, but Naslund, who was struck in the head, missed three games with a concussion. At the time, Bertuzzi called Moore a punk and said he was glad the teams had two games remaining.
Vancouver's Brad May said of Moore after that game: "There's definitely a bounty on his head. Clean hit or not, that's our best player and you respond. It's going to be fun when we get him." May later said his comments were tongue-in-cheek.
Nice crawfishin' Brad, but the case for the prosecution won't let it go: "How much was the bounty, Mr. May, five grand? "
When an athlete deliberately sets out to injure an opponent, he's taking dead aim at his livelihood. That should be driven out of the game. We're not Romans in the Colliseum anymore.
Update: I don't follow hockey much, but Offwing, who does, has much more here & here.