Obviously, Todd Bertuzzi’s attack on Steve Moore had implications for the league.
Not just for fighting and not just for the unwritten rules, though.
Bertuzzi also attacked the very image of hockey:
- Bertuzzi’s sucker punch was a star attacking a role-player. Imagine if Roger Clemens had thrown a jagged bat at Todd Pratt instead of Mike Piazza and imagine if the bat had impaled the utilityman—now you have a better idea of the magnitude of the attack.
It’s bad enough to have anonymous goons attacking stars and each other. But to have the NHL’s best players sneaking up on a kid and punching him into the ice is just absurd. It’s anarchy. It makes no sense.
Also, factor in Dany Heatley, another up-and-coming NHL star, and his summer car wreck that killed a teammate and caused Heatley to miss the first four months of the season.
How much more does the NHL expect fans to put up with? How many fans will stop watching and attending games simply to avoid the stigma of being some kind of loser who enjoys watching sociopaths chase a piece of rubber around the ice? How many parents will be scared to let their kids watch hockey?