Whispers from players who were on the bench when Bertuzzi went out and hit Moore from behind, supposedly as revenge for a hit Moore made on Bertuzzi's teammate
According to a document filed in the upcoming court case and obtained by CBC News in Canada, Bertuzzi made the charge against Crawford in a pre-trial deposition. The report does not state that Crawford singled out Bertuzzi by name -- Crawford allegedly said that Moore had to "pay the price" -- but the fact that Bertuzzi made the charge will put Crawford and the NHL on trial. That's surely something that the NHL fears and the Moore camp has been trying to do it since the incident happened.
The impact of that charge will be a problem for the NHL, which has stated repeatedly that these types of violent actions are "not part of the game." That insistence is likely to be challenged during the trial, especially given the fact that the league warned Crawford and the Canucks against retaliation prior to the incident and fined the team $250,000 afterward, a clear indication that the NHL felt that Crawford and his organization were at least partially at fault.
That's a key issue in the case. Bertuzzi has filed a claim asking that if damages are awarded to Moore, the Canucks should pay them. The Canucks have filed a similar claim against Bertuzzi, who is now a winger for the Ducks, a team managed by
A secondary problem for the Canucks is that current GM
In light of the Bertuzzi-Moore developments, it should come as no surprise that NHL bosses have taken a dim view of the Philadelphia Flyers and their
What comes as a shock to long-time observers, however, is that the NHL Players' Association now wants to get involved, and not necessarily to fight off the suspensions handed down by
Given that he's not dead, it would be wrong to say that former NHLPA boss
That wasn't always the case. Goodenow believed that since the league was handing out the suspensions, it was incumbent upon the PA to monitor the hearings in order to ensure that the dictates of the collective bargaining agreement were followed. Essentially, the PA was there to protect the process.
Technically, it was a reasonable argument, but the offshoot was that it often appeared that the PA did little, sometimes nothing, to protect the well-being of the victimized player. The poster child was Colorado's
Kelly, recently elected to replace the ousted
"It does concern me that a number of these instances have involved the same franchise [Philadelphia]," he said. " Whether that's coincidence, whether that's culture, whether that's coaching, I don't know. But that's a concern and it's something that I think both the league and the association need to pay attention to as to why that's happening."
Kelly went on to say that he was "critical" of the
Two things need to be noted here. One: Kelly, a former prosecuting and defense attorney who knows both the meaning and value of words, chose "victim" and put it ahead of "aggressor". Two: It might well be presumed the PA could argue for supplemental discipline to be used as a more effective deterrent than the usual wrist-slap. Kelly's being "critical" of the Jones hit can easily be taken to mean he's not happy with the fact that Jones was suspended a mere two games while Bergeron may out for the remainder of the season, not to mention the impact on how well he plays should he be able to return.
That's a sea change in approach. It makes Kelly a new boss who appears to be a great deal different than the old bosses.
Another change that has caught the eyes and ears of the " let 'em play" brigade is the number of players speaking out on the subject. For decades, NHLers have been among the least vocal about safety issues in their sport. However, several have uttered the words "lifetime ban" after Flyers forward
"You could do devastating damage to someone and his career," Higgins said.
That's a major step for an NHL player, many of whom have been intimidated by coaches, management and even certain media personalities against speaking out about injuries.
"Coaches used to blow off such (head) injuries," Higgins said. "Well, that culture has to change. Don't play through the pain. It ties into respect, so children don't play injured when they grow up."
Despite a blessing from the NHL Board of Governors, the sale of the Nashville Predators has still not closed and may have some problems ahead.
Sources tell SI.com that
Through Wednesday, San Jose goalie