If you know me, you know I LOVE the game of hockey. It's the only pro sport I follow closely and have been playing hockey in a league for nearly 10 years. But as I write this, I feel embarrassed for the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL and especially for Todd Bertuzzi.
If you haven't heard what happened earlier this week, Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks threw a complete sucker punch at Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche from behind. After connecting to the right side of his head with the punch, Bertuzzi then jumped on Moore's back and drove him hard into the ice… Face First. Moore suffered a concussion, deep cuts on his face and a broken neck. He will miss the rest of this season but is luckily still alive.
I'm not one of these people that complain that hockey is too violent and that all fights should be banned. Hey, I enjoy the fights. But, this was NOT a fight. This was a mugging. Not to mention it was pre-meditated. This was a payback for a hit that Moore put on one of Vancouver's star players a few games prior that caused an injury. But, when is enough enough? Moore had already been in a fight earlier in the game when one of Vancouver's tough guys took it upon himself to settle the score for the previous hit. But, perhaps the fact that Vancouver was being embarrassed in the game (they lost 9-2) added some fuel to the fire. Who knows?
Right now, the NHL is in a very tight spot. At the end of this year there is going to be a work stoppage. The NHL will not be starting next season on time because of labor disputes. If it will be a strike or a lock-out, I have no idea. But, with hockey already having a hard time holding on to the #4 spot as far as popular sports, this certainly isn't going to help. How fast do you think ABC, CBS or NBC would pull the plug on their relationship with the NHL if they had been televising that game nationwide.
Between the pending work stoppage and stupid, and I mean STUPID antics of an idiot like Todd Bertuzzi, well, I don't have any idea how long it will be after this season is over before I'll be watching another pro hockey game.