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"aka The Duck Whisperer"
Irvine, CA • United States • 35 Years Old • Male
Every hockey fan that has seen the footage can bring it instantly to mind. Todd Bertuzzi chasing Steve Moore around the ice, and then, frustrated by Moores refusal to stand and fight, sucker punching him in the side of the head and driving him into the ice with the entire weight of both of their bodies. Everyone also knows the aftermath. Three and a half years later, Moore has yet to resume his career. Bertuzzi was suspended for the remainder of that season and the playoffs, but began playing again the season after the lockout.

For the last month or so since the Ducks announced that they had signed Bertuzzi to a 2 year, $8 million contract, I have been trying to figure out how I feel about it. Not the obvious question, which is why are we paying $4 million a year to a guy who played in only 15 games last year, and hasn’t proven that he has recovered from his back surgery, but the more troublesome question of whether Todd Bertuzzi should even be allowed to play?

Bertuzzi served what amounted to a 20 game suspension from the NHL, and wasnt allowed to play in the World Championships or Europe during the lockout because of the incident. Moores career is, for all intents and purposes, probably over.

Bertuzzi backers will defend him by saying that Moores earlier hit on Marcus Naslund and his refusal to fight Bertuzzi caused the incident, and that Moore got what he deserved. That he did not live up to the CODE and he paid the price. Those not in Bertuzzis corner say it was a cowardly blindside attack that should have been punished with a lifetime ban. I have to say I am closer to the latter, than the former.

But I still dont know.

I dont know Todd Bertuzzi. I dont know what kind of person he is. I dont know what he was thinking that night. I dont know if he was acting with the kind of blind hate that would be necessary to have done what he did while being consciously aware of the possible damage.

But I dont think he was. Here is what I do think:

I think Todd Bertuzzi was trying to hurt Steve Moore. I think Todd Bertuzzi was trying to dish out some karma for Moores debatably clean hit on Naslund. I think Todd Bertuzzi was trying to be a good teammate. I think Todd Bertuzzi made an incredibly costly and regrettable mistake. I think Todd Bertuzzi is remorseful. And I think Todd Bertuzzi should be held responsible.

If I was on the jury hearing the civil case that Moore filed against Bertuzzi, and is currently making its way through the Canadian justice system, I would find for Moore and make Bertuzzi pay him every bit of the earnings that Moore lost out on. I would make Bertuzzi serve as Moores butler and put on little puppet shows for the kids in Moores neighborhood. I would make Bertuzzi wash Moores cars and rub his feet.

But I would not prohibit Todd from playing hockey.

Not only would I not want to take away the only chance Bertuzzi has at making the millions of dollars that I think he should have to give to Moore, but I also dont see the benefit of ruining two careers over what I have to believe was a monumental lapse of judgment. If Todd Bertuzzi is human at all, and I have to believe he is, the guilt and shame he has felt since that moment has to be overwhelming, and I for one, think, in addition to the monetary award that should be made, that is punishment enough.

I cant say that I am going to be giving Bertuzzi standing ovations just because he is a Duck now, but I am going to wipe the slate as far as he is concerned, so I wont be booing him either. I am going to let his actions on and off the ice starting now guide my opinion of him, and take it from there.

Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Filed Under:   Bertuzzi   Anaheim   Ducks   Moore  
August 14, 2007 3:45 PM ET | Delete
I'm going to get smoked for this but I thought he was punished for the result not the crime. If steve Moore gets up from that we aren't talking about it today. This is where I put my hands up and let every one shoot me.
August 14, 2007 3:54 PM ET | Delete
August 14, 2007 3:57 PM ET | Delete
August 14, 2007 3:57 PM ET | Delete
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August 14, 2007 3:59 PM ET | Delete
I agree with saneopinion and I applaud your approach to the whole Bertuzzi issue. At the same time i think you are sitting on the fence...Pick a side man. Love him or hate him he is going to bring an edge to your team and I think the ducks are better w/ Bertuzzi than with Penner. If Nieds retires the Ducks will not repeat. Period!! Great blog, man. Thanks.
August 14, 2007 4:03 PM ET | Delete
Being from one of the greatest hockey towns around, Sudbury, and knowing Bertuzzi quite well having been in game situations with a much younger Todd, I feel I can comment on the person. Bertuzzi was an idiot as a teenager and I am sure he still is today. He did not show regret for Moore, he showed regret for the amount of money he lost from the suspension, which was not nearly long enough. He intentionally went out to hurt Moore and if there is any justice, Moore will be awarded nicely in civil court for his and his families hardship. I cringe every time they mention Bertuzzi being from Sudbury; please do not judge the rest of the city based on this moron.
August 14, 2007 4:10 PM ET | Delete
"good teammate" "remorseful" "human" doubt it will take anyone on the Ducks long to figure out he is none of the above. I say he is either traded or "retires" before January
August 14, 2007 4:17 PM ET | Delete
Bertuzzi plays with a lot of emotion but not a lot of brains. It really is about as simple as that. Leaving the bench to defend Jovo and serving a major suspension long before the Moore incident is just another example of his inability to control his emotions and make bad decisions. I don't think Bertuzzi is a bad person, but he does do stupid things. I honestly don't think he chose to be a coward and hit Moore from behind but that he was just out of control and wanted payback for the hit on Naslund. I don't even know if the difference between the two is important.I think he's learned on some level to control himself better. I can't predict his season next year but he'll certain fit in with Anaheim especially having Burke behind him.
August 14, 2007 4:24 PM ET | Delete
Rock34, you are exactly right. I am on the fence. I guess that's why I wrote this. Seems like from the first few comments though, that people think that action was more in line with Bertuzzi's personality, as opposed to a departure from it.
August 14, 2007 4:29 PM ET | Delete
I think the problem with Bertuzzi is he is not the same player he was before the Moore incident. I think it has affected his aggressiveness on the ice. Maybe it's because if the back injury also but he declared himself "healthy" for the Red Wings and he was not much of a factor when we played them. I had to laugh at Temmer29's posts. Tell me who wasn't a jackass as a teenager! Especially one who was an athlete. It's part and parcel with growing up. I think the major part of the Bertuzzi contract though was the clause that says he must pass a physical or the contract is void. I'll bet if Teemu comes back, the Ducks medical staff will find something wrong with him.
August 14, 2007 4:30 PM ET | Delete
I think the problem with Bertuzzi is he is not the same player he was before the Moore incident. I think it has affected his aggressiveness on the ice. Maybe it's because if the back injury also but he declared himself "healthy" for the Red Wings and he was not much of a factor when we played them. I had to laugh at Temmer29's posts. Tell me who wasn't a jackass as a teenager! Especially one who was an athlete. It's part and parcel with growing up. I think the major part of the Bertuzzi contract though was the clause that says he must pass a physical or the contract is void. I'll bet if Teemu comes back, the Ducks medical staff will find something wrong with him.
August 14, 2007 4:42 PM ET | Delete
Punishment wise, don't care anymore. Hockey wish, he's done. The old rules benefited guys like him more than the new. He doesn't have the speed and defencemen aren't going to try and manhandle him so he really doesn't have much to go with.
August 14, 2007 4:46 PM ET | Delete
First of all, great post. I think this is a subject that won't soon go away and probably shouldn't. It was an ugly scar on the face of hockey, every bit as ugly as the Mcsorely/Brashear incident. I never really got the impression that Bertuzzi was remorseful. I think he put on a great act at the scripted press conference and shed a few tears. But, I think that was as much to try to save his career as it was to show remorse. Steve Moore clearly felt that he had paid the price by standing up and being a man and taking an ass whipping earlier in the game by Brad May (that may be wrong, if so I'm sorry). As far as the code is concerned it should have ended there, but Bertuzzi didn't feel that he got beaten bad enough to fully pay his debt to the nucks. I really liked Bertuzzi as a player before that. He was as hard edged and nasty as anyone in recent memory and could put that to good use to score lots of goals. He was an elite player at that time and it's a shame that this happened. Whether Bert is still playing or not, two careers were ruined that night. Very sad story!
August 14, 2007 4:47 PM ET | Delete
Interesting thought duxcup! Guess we'll have to wait and see.
August 14, 2007 4:53 PM ET | Delete
Quick note...before I wrote this I went to Youtube and found as many videos as I could of Bertuzzi and Moore talking about it. Bertuzzi has apologized in more than just that first press conference, including very recently. Doesn't necessarily mean that he means it, but it wasn't a one and done type of thing
August 14, 2007 5:12 PM ET | Delete
I say lets all move on. Hockey is a physical sport that is driven by much emotion. He was in a rage and did something stupid, but the result of Moore's injury wasn't from the punch as much as it was probably from all the bodies landing on each other and hitting the ice with that much more force. I think the time has come to move on and put this horrible incident behind us. By the bloggers own admission it happened over 3 years ago. I don't think Bertuzzi thought what he was going to do would have ever resulted in what actually happened.
August 14, 2007 7:42 PM ET | Delete
Good blog, I for one but a lot of stock in Brian Burkes assessment of character. He brought Anahiem a Cup, improved Vancouver drastically while he was here and if he feels that Bertuzzi is a character guy that will add value to the Ducks, then thats all I need. It is quite easy to look at the footage and make a character assasination of a player based on the Moore incident, yes he made a mistake and yes he has appologized for the incident. In one presser Bertuzzi was extremely emotional and that to me is enough to know he regrets what he did.
August 14, 2007 8:26 PM ET | Delete
BIG T your assesment and acceptance of Brian Burke is exactly what I contend is problem with how the NHL is running its game. Brian Burke is promoting violence in hockey. How can anyone argue that given the teams he has had in Vancouver and in Anaheim. I lauph when someone things of my man Boogie as being a goon. Boogaard will never in his career be acused of a violent act. Violence follows Burke because of the people he employs, like Carlyle the coach, and his players. Did President Clinton have character BIG T ??
August 14, 2007 8:55 PM ET | Delete
You have got to be F@#$ing kidding me about Boogaard. Did you watch the playoffs last year? The Ducks are controlling game 5 late and Boogaard comes into the game so he can try to kill someone, namely Selanne and Neidermayer, both of whom he made several elbows up runs at. Plus, the S.O.B. and his brother run a F@$ing FIGHT CAMP for kids in Canada! The only reason Boogaard is in the NHL is because he plays violently. Hey, it's the same with Parros with the Ducks. At least we're not delusional about his role.
August 14, 2007 10:05 PM ET | Delete
I'm not condoning what Bertuzzi did, as that whole punch thing was really really stupid, but I'd like to point out that the entire Colorado team jumping on top of the two after they fell to the ice probably didn't help the situation, in fact, I think it's safe to say that it ended up making things worse for Moore who was at the bottom of it all. People get punched in hockey all the time, and it REALLY REALLY sucks that Moore got hurt as bad as he did, however I don't think it's entirely Bertuzzi's fault.
August 14, 2007 10:24 PM ET | Delete
As Avs fan I feel I must to respond to this blog, I start with this. His name is one I never speak and he has caused me much grief. I was watching the game a few days after my best friend had collapsed and died following a hockey game in which he took a hit head first into the boards. The Avalanche having always been a respite for me, I happened to turn on this game and see Steve Moore get into a fight and then an hour later into the blow out the “incident” occurred. The minute I saw it, I got physically ill and had a panic attack. The friend thing has probably compounded the impact this incident had on me thus hardening my stance. THERE IS ABSOLUTLY NO PLACE IN SPORT OR SOCIETY FOR WHAT HE DID. IF HE HAD DONE THAT ON THE STREET IT WOULD BE CONSIDERED FIRST DEGREE ASSAULT. HE IS A GOON AND WILL FOREVER BE A GOON. HOWEVER….I draw the line at banning him. What I think should happen is he should he 50% of his wages for the rest of his career. I one point I believed banishment was ideal, but you have got to consider the facts It was a severe mistake no one will argue that but since “legally” there was no criminal charges brought against him he must be allowed to earn a living. Ultimately the man shall not be named will have to live with what he did to Steve Moore and what ever consequences the civil courts decide.
August 14, 2007 10:29 PM ET | Delete
Steve Moore is just faking his injury. The same way that people fake injuries after car accidents, trying to get the biggest payday they can from it. I don't blame him for faking it. I would try to get as much much money as I can for it. Bertuzzi was stupid.
August 14, 2007 11:26 PM ET | Delete
dkartik, If you can show me video of where he was trying to elbow one of your players on your Duck squad I will send you $100.00. I have money thats not a problem. Ask for my email and you can send to me...Remember he is 6 foot 7 so it sometimes may look like he is coming in high.... The coach of the Wild calls Boogie the most discipline player on his team... The fighting that he does is neccessary because teams come in and take shots at Gaborick and others. I am ok with fighting. The Violence that I speak of is what Brad May did to Kim Johnnson, what Bertuzzi did to Moore, and what Pronger did to earn his suspensions in the playoffs.... If the NHL does nothing to stop a GM like Burke it will carry over to the youth hockey league like it already has and the NHL will have to have the courts take over its game becasue it went to far to sell tickets in California
August 14, 2007 11:32 PM ET | Delete
Your seriously gonna say Moore is faking his Injury for money? i think he would rather be in the NHL making money playing the sport he loves rather than sitting home trying to recover from what happened that game. Moore received the most injuries from bertuzzi not the avs players trying to remove bertuzzi from Moore's unconscious body.
August 14, 2007 11:54 PM ET | Delete
Hey, Pronger is 6-6, so you must be O.K. with the hits on Holmstrom and Mc Whatever from Ottawa(his name escapes me). Bettman wasn't and it cost Pronger 2 playoff games. You don't explain what Boogaard was doing on the ice at the end of game 5 in a losing cause. Is it because he is such a scoring threat? Nobody likes physical players unless they're on their own team. You just wait until the first Ducks-Wild game. I guarantee your boy will be head hunting. And hey, I don't want your money, I know what I saw. I was at the game. Donate it to your favorite charity in Boogaards name. Or, better yet, send a kid to his fight camp next year.
August 15, 2007 12:10 AM ET | Delete
tjhlweikle- I am not sure what Clinton has to do with the Bertuzzi argument, but if you care to explain, I will listen. In respect to Burke promoting violence, you a far from correct. He promotes tough hockey, which involves hitting and the possibility of fighting which I am sure Boogie has been a part of, isn't his brother involved in a "fighting" training camp or some thing. Again, I believe that Burke makes solid personal decisions and I seen many of the Canuck games under his managment and I would question that you would be able to call them "promoting violence". What happened to Moore was unfortunate, Bertuzzi made the mistake of hitting him, the Colorado coaches made the mistake of keeping him on the ice despite the fact they "knew" he was being a target. But since this was 3 1/2 years ago, Bertuzzi has paid the price, and may have to payout some sort of settlement should Moore be able to prove the nature of his injuries and potential income loss.
August 15, 2007 11:02 AM ET | Delete
Personally I do not believe that it was Bertuzzi's intention to hurt Moore as badly as he was hurt; HOWEVER, with that being said, most likely he ended Steve Moore's career and should be punished according to the result as opposed to the "intention". I do not believe that the 20 game suspension is sufficient (I know that he was not allowed to play during the lockout, but, personally, I do not believe that should count). As far as forgiveness goes, the only person that can forgive Bertuzzi is Moore. As far as forgetting, this should NEVER be forgotten so that hopefully this kind of incident will NEVER happen again.
August 15, 2007 3:19 PM ET | Delete
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August 15, 2007 6:08 PM ET | Delete
It's hard to comment on this being an Islander fan, since I've had to deal with Bert on my team (and his lamebrain play and damn near p***y mentalitay with us). I've also had to deal with Hunter taking out Turgeon, and Chris Simon. I have way to many emotions about landmark, flagrant penalties. But, with as much rationality as I can muster, the severity of the injury to Moore is too much to just "forgive". I guess it's OK that he's back playing, since he served his time that was his punishment. But I can't forgive him.
August 15, 2007 9:36 PM ET | Delete
Very well put DanNola. I agree 100%. The Bertuzzi incident is the result of poor leadership on behalf of the Canucks organization as well. A player that would do such a thing can be known by its leaders who pay close attention to its players personality. Letting the players know what is expected of them on a conduct level will help that as well.. Cmon guys in this blog, you get my point now ! Burke has both Brad May who most recently has sucker punched and knocked unconcious Kim Johnnson, and Bertuzzi.... Get my point ??
August 16, 2007 12:46 AM ET | Delete
I agree with chief wiggams... by suing Bertuzzi Moore will probably make more money then he would if he hadnt gotten injured and continued playing.
August 16, 2007 3:02 AM ET | Delete
tjhlweikle, the Bertuzzi incident is a result of poor leadership on behalf the Canucks organization??? Yes the Canucks leadership told him to attack Moore and hurt him!!Get real. Lets start by saying that the Canucks and Burke teams do not have any higher rash of incidents then any other team in the leaque, you can point fingers at Burke all you want but the bottom line is that Bertuzzi made a mistake, paid the price for letting his emotions get the best of him and thats the end of the story. If you chose to make him the poster boy for what is wrong with hockey then so be it. There is no place in sport for what Bertuzzi did is correct, but that is the past and its time for people to move on.
August 16, 2007 5:53 AM ET | Delete
BIG T, Its truly not just Burke here. The NHL is letting him do it. His team is starting a major trend in the NHL of signings of players 6-2 and above that can skate. Players who normally would not be looked at so early. Remember the saying birds of feather fly together ??
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