Monday, August 08, 2005

Second Chance -- Bertuzzi Reinstated

By Nick Faris
Red Line Corp. Writer

This is a special Five Hole Hockey article. My normal column will appear tomorrow.

Todd Bertuzzi is immediatly able to resume his hockey career.

Gary Bettman addressed the media at a press conference Monday, and in a 4,500 word address he feels that Bertuzzi's 17-month suspension was fair enough. He notes that the emotional stress this had on the Bertuzzi family was punishable for the two-time All Star and his wife, Julie, in a strong way. Bettman believes that the Canucks forward, ''is genuinely remorseful and apologetic for his actions . . . and the consequences that have flowed from such actions.''

However, what I'm very interested in is the fact that Gary Bettman failed to mention a single thing about the slim chances of Steve Moore ever playing another NHL game.

Todd Bertuzzi was placed on probation in court on December 22nd, 2004. His probation will end December 21st, 2005, and until that date, Bertuzzi will not be allowed to play any hockey game in which Moore is an opponent. But, let's be realistic. What are the chances of that?

March 8th, 2004 was the day Steve Moore's career ended. You can be sure of it. I'm not sure any team would want to pick him up because of his injuries and the fact he was only a fringe player to begin with. It's very unfortunate, because, unlike Markus Naslund said, Moore was capable of playing in the NHL. Until March 8th.

Lawyer Tim Danson has stated recently that Moore has tried to begin training for a hopeful return to the NHL. Don't expect it, however. Danson has also denied rumours that a doctor has cleared for Moore to play again.

Where is the hate for Moore stemming from? His clean hit on Naslund which lead to Bertuzzi and Brad May putting a bounty on Moore's head? Naslund has been saying that he has no respect for Moore, the victim, while putting his full support behind Bertuzzi. Obviously, he is a linemate of the agressor, but it sounds a little low to saying you have no respect for the man in the hospital bed.

Unfortunately, no NHLers have been supporting Moore - all the big names have come out and said they want Bertuzzi back. Not even any Avalanche players (Moore's former teammates) have come out and said they want him back.

It's sickening, really. This is not to say I think Bertuzzi should be banned forever - I will never look at him the same way, but I still believe he deserves a second chance. The same goes for Steve Moore, however, he will probably never get it.

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