OK, if I see one more monosyllabic "good Canadian boy" hockey player say Todd Bertuzzi "has paid his punishment and it's time to move on" or something like-minded (like I saw Edmonton's Ryan 'the mullet' Smyth say in a soundbite this morning), the 13 inch black and white Electrohome TV here at the hammer compound is going to have a remote heading in its direction.
I know everybody, especially in Vancouver, wants this all to be swept under the carpet, but Bertuzzi did not pay an adequate punishment. He did not serve a 17-month suspension, he served what amounts to 20 games. Imagine if the NHL were to suspend a player in June and reinstating him in October, and saying he served a four-month suspension. I guess every guy on every team who misses the playoffs serves a six-month "suspension" each season.
This appears to be the NHL's suspension guidelines: You leave the bench to take part in a fight, you get 10 games. You nearly cripple a man and break his neck after attacking him from behind and giving him a forearm shiver to the back of his neck, you get...20 games. That's justice.
And for everybody who's said that his teammates and fellow NHL brethren (even members of the Avalanche) have all stuck up for Todd-answer me this: would you
say anything negative about Todd if he was your teammate or you had to play against him eight times a year?
"So what do you think about Todd's return to the team, Henrik Sedin Are you glad to have him back?"
"Oh, yes...Todd is a great guy...great teammate...anything else you want me to say, Mr. Bertuzzi sir?"
"Tell them I'm a good family man."
"He's a good family man...gulp..."
Yeah, yeah, I know. I need to let it go, new era, hockey's a man's game, the code, and all the usual macho Don Cherry bullshit. Whatever.