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View Full Version : Vicious Hockey Attack Spurs Rage, Worry in Canada


wdlove
Mar 11, 2004, 04:52 PM
TORONTO (Reuters) - A vicious on-ice punch knocked scandal, politics and foreign affairs off the front pages of Canadian newspapers on Wednesday, tarnishing the iconic status of Canada's national pastime and prompting a debate on how far violence in hockey should be allowed to go.

The punch, a revenge attack by a star Vancouver Canucks player for an incident at a game last month, left a rookie Colorado Avalanche player with a concussion and a fractured neck, and prompted banner headlines, grumbling Web sites and endless televised reruns of the ugly attack.

"Canada's troubled game suffers yet another blow," the Globe and Mail said in a commentary that, with pictures and a sidebar story, took up almost all the front page.

"It's really a dark moment for hockey." said the Toronto Star, Canada's biggest-selling newspaper, which called for an end to hockey's culture of violence.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=sportsNews&storyID=4539460&section=news

floatingspirit
Mar 11, 2004, 08:50 PM
They call that "game" a sport!!?? Disgusting. I understand great people have been associated with the game, but things are getting out of hand. It seems like ancient Rome and the Coliseum to me. :mad:

aqpark
Mar 12, 2004, 09:22 AM
[QUOTE=floatingspirit]They call that "game" a sport!!?? Disgusting. QUOTE]

This from a guy in Japan where the national "sport" consists of two grossly overweight guys in thong diapers grappling and tossing eachother. Now that's disgusting!

The Bertuzzi incident was indeed a terrible thing, but he got penalized by the league as he deserved. And he may face more legal issues. The fact is there are 5-15 NHL games per night from October to May without this sort of ridiculous action so you can't label a sport by the stupid acts of a handful of guys who get momentarily carried away. Yes it is a rough sport but so are many others. If you want to talk about "vicious attacks" let's also talk about the behemoths in the NFL going after opposing players knees, ribs and heads. Or how about MLB pitchers aiming fast balls at batters heads to get them rattled. Let's see, there is also Rugby, Lacrosse, Hurling and Australian Rules Football...

1macker1
Mar 12, 2004, 09:29 AM
That was an cowardly act. But to say hockey isn't a sport is crazy. Hockey is a very fun sport to watch, probably a even better sport to play. This guy is done for this year, and might be suspended some next year. But the game must continue, this isn't the first incident of this kind, and it won't be the last.

srobert
Mar 12, 2004, 10:15 AM
Hockey used to be even more violent but things got better those past 10 years. Hockey players should not be treated differently than any other persons commiting violence off the ice. These accidents are now rare occasions and should be dealt in an examplary manner. Let's blame the violent dumb @$$ and not the sport.

jxyama
Mar 12, 2004, 10:54 AM
This from a guy in Japan where the national "sport" consists of two grossly overweight guys in thong diapers grappling and tossing eachother. Now that's disgusting!

i assume you were joking somewhat.

many sumo wresters are a lot more athletic than you seem to think. and vast majority of them are not overweight - they are large but they are very fit. when some of them do get overweight, their joints quickly give out (from great strain of movements involved in sumo matches, not just from extra weight) and they'd be uncompetitive pretty much in an instant and would be out of the sport. the current grand champion is 6'/308 lbs and is considered "small." he just went through the recent tournament undefeated and he's so strong that he defeated another wrester by lifting him (weighing 345 lbs) with one arm.

it's very much a sport as opposed to, say, american pro wrestling.

it's also a national sport with history far longer than most other sports. and those are not diapers. i'd appreciate a bit of respect to one of my favorite sports and taking some time to understand it if you are going to criticize it. it's one thing to not like it. or think it's different. but "that's disgusting" type of comment seems to suggest that those involved in the sport and their fans are somehow idiotic.

1macker1
Mar 12, 2004, 11:17 AM
I think his respose was to the the "you call that a sport" comment made by the guy that likes sumo wrestling. To get respect you must give it.
i assume you were joking somewhat.

many sumo wresters are a lot more athletic than you seem to think. and vast majority of them are not overweight - they are large but they are very fit. when some of them do get overweight, their joints quickly give out (from great strain of movements involved in sumo matches, not just from extra weight) and they'd be uncompetitive pretty much in an instant and would be out of the sport. the current grand champion is 6'/308 lbs and is considered "small." he just went through the recent tournament undefeated and he's so strong that he defeated another wrester by lifting him (weighing 345 lbs) with one arm.

it's very much a sport as opposed to, say, american pro wrestling.

it's also a national sport with history far longer than most other sports. and those are not diapers. i'd appreciate a bit of respect to one of my favorite sports and taking some time to understand it if you are going to criticize it. it's one thing to not like it. or think it's different. but "that's disgusting" type of comment seems to suggest that those involved in the sport and their fans are somehow idiotic.

JesseJames
Mar 12, 2004, 11:29 AM
I saw the attack on the news. At first I laughed but then I learned that the guy fractured his neck. No more laughing.
I'm a hockey fan and playing rough is just part of the game. But you ride a fine line on the ice. You have to exercise gamesmanship; knowing when to push it and knowing when to back off.
If someone is getting in your face then you two square off.
But what I saw was a blindsided sucker punch and a half with a good head shove into the ice.
That's not hockey. No. That's just being brutal for brutality sake. Result of lost temper. Not playing the game and sportsmanship.
I think he should face assault charges.

jxyama
Mar 12, 2004, 11:54 AM
To get respect you must give it.

true. and you are right, the post about demeaning hockey with "you call that a sport?" wasn't very respectable either.

but i just get a bit defensive about sumo because it is misunderstood by many more westerners than, say, ice hockey, i imagine. :D

btw, i'm a big hockey fan. but i like college hockey better, usually a lot cleaner.

and i agree with some others that this incident should be investigated as a crime. even in the context of sports, deliberately inflicting harm on others is a crime, especially if it ends up severely hurting others. (and it was deliberate, no question about it...) emotions and stuff is just an excuse - if you get emotional and murder someone, it's a murder nonetheless. just because you are playing a sport doesn't mean you can lose yourself and not be held accountable.

superfunkomatic
Mar 12, 2004, 12:11 PM
i think it's sad that the media is running this 24/7. there is violence is life, and there is violence in sport. unfortunately, it is part of human nature. but to use hockey as the example is a bit wrong- it does happen in other sports. violence in football, basketball (sprewell attacking his coach), baseball bench clearing brawls.

i think people need to take it for what it is - a huge error in judgement. these guys aren't ambassadors or representatives of our country, they are athletes playing with passion and some times people make bad decisions.

there has been more coverage of this in the past two days than the bombing in spain, and the war in the gulf combined - mixed up societal values perhaps?

Krizoitz
Mar 12, 2004, 12:18 PM
Here is a sport that fighting is not only allowed to happen, its practically expected. The fans get excited when fights break out and players are allowed to continue when a fight starts. Obviously this particular fight was probably worse than most, but the point remians that when you allow fighting to happen you really shouldn't be surprised at the outcome. Hockey is a very difficult sport and I respect the athletic ability necessary to play well, but I have very little respect forit because of the fact that they allow fighting to go on.

ExoticFish
Mar 12, 2004, 01:18 PM
reminds me of that one time i went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.

aqpark
Mar 12, 2004, 01:28 PM
I think his respose was to the the "you call that a sport" comment made by the guy that likes sumo wrestling. To get respect you must give it.

Thank you. Yes, that was the intent. Just responding in kind to the poster. No offence intended to you, Japanese everywhere, and especially not to 6' 388lb Sumo wrestlers!! ;)

jxyama
Mar 12, 2004, 02:30 PM
Obviously this particular fight was probably worse than most

i'd argue that this wasn't a fight at all... not a fair fight, at least.

usually, hockey fights are, imo, okay. they are allowed to happen as long as it's not an unfair cheap shot and two involved are expected to stop once the refs come over. (and refs won't come in until there's a pause in the fight - refs can hardly match up with hocky players in general anyway.) both of them serve the penalty, angers are vent and the teams carry on.

of course, not all fights will happen in an (somewhat convoluted) "ideal" way like above and tragic things do happen. i wouldn't mind "fightless" hockey at all. it's quite separate from the actual game being played...

wdlove
Mar 12, 2004, 05:03 PM
Its a very sad commentary on professional sports. The attacker should be banned from sports for life, he did that on purpose. The police should investigate and prosecute the the full extent of the law.

hobbes3113
Mar 12, 2004, 05:47 PM
Here is a sport that fighting is not only allowed to happen, its practically expected. The fans get excited when fights break out and players are allowed to continue when a fight starts. Obviously this particular fight was probably worse than most, but the point remians that when you allow fighting to happen you really shouldn't be surprised at the outcome. Hockey is a very difficult sport and I respect the athletic ability necessary to play well, but I have very little respect forit because of the fact that they allow fighting to go on.

First of all this in no way approximates what goes on in a typical hockey game. Nor does it reflect an "everyday" hockey fight. Very rarely does anyone get seriously injured in a hockey fight, when the rules of engagement are enforced. Although I would be the first to agree that there needs to be a tighter regulation of fighting in hockey, but I don't think that it should be banned. I have seen far worse things occur in both football and baseball, but when was the last time a big deal was made after a linebacker blindsides a quarterback several seconds after the ball is released, or when a receiver gets smashed on a crossing pattern when the ball is a little high. In both cases the hits can be career and even potentially life threatening. And why does nobody mind when a base runner comes hard into second base, potentially doing serious damage to smeones knees, or when a pitcher deliberately throws at someones head, or even just even throws at someone. For every incident like the one in Vancouver Monday night, there are many more that occur in the more "mainstream" sports. I find it outrageous that the non-hockey related media (who likely have only watched one game collectively) immediately jumps on the bandwagon in saying that hockey is tremendously violent and that the fighting that goes on is a black eye on the sport, while maintaining that the violence that goes on in other sports is just someone playing the game hard. And don't even get me started on boxing where people get paid tens of millions of dollars to beat the living crap out of each other.

Sorry for the rant (well... not really)

-Hobbes

jxyama
Mar 12, 2004, 05:57 PM
I have seen far worse things occur in both football and baseball, but when was the last time a big deal was made after a linebacker blindsides a quarterback several seconds after the ball is released, or when a receiver gets smashed on a crossing pattern when the ball is a little high. In both cases the hits can be career and even potentially life threatening. And why does nobody mind when a base runner comes hard into second base, potentially doing serious damage to smeones knees, or when a pitcher deliberately throws at someones head, or even just even throws at someone.

don't want to play devil's advocate but the incidents you described are extentions of normal plays. a comparable thing to them in hockey would be a late hit or boarding, both of which are natural extentions of plays and dangerous, not fighting.

when pedro martinez took down don zimmer during ALCS last fall, it got enough press and no one broke a neck...

hobbes3113
Mar 12, 2004, 06:35 PM
don't want to play devil's advocate but the incidents you described are extentions of normal plays. a comparable thing to them in hockey would be a late hit or boarding, both of which are natural extentions of plays and dangerous, not fighting.

when pedro martinez took down don zimmer during ALCS last fall, it got enough press and no one broke a neck...

How can throwing a 95mph fastball at someones head or deliberately trying to take out someones knees in an attempt to break up a double play an extension of normal play. By last count, the strike zone is well below the head. As for fighting in hockey, I would say that a player stands a greater risk of injury by a legal check than in a fight. Have you ever tried to take a swing at somebody while wearing shoulder pads and a somewhat tight sweater. Not to mention the not so solid ground that you are standing on. I absolutely agree with you on the Pedro-Zimmer ordeal, but as I recall Zimmer's response was precipitated by a "questionable" pitch by Pedro, a known head hunter.

womencantsail
Mar 12, 2004, 06:46 PM
The problem, in the US at least, is that since hockey is not an incredibly popular sport, people don't hear much about it unless something like this happens. This is why people get the impression that hockey is some barbaric sport where all that happens is people try to hurt each other. In fact, that's not correct at all. Sure hockey is a contact sport, but so is football, and there is a lot more hitting and violence in that sport than in hockey.

Sure there are fights, but in the average game, there isn't a fight, or multiple fights. The reason that fights, or cheap shots, get so much publicity, is because people find them "interesting".

superfunkomatic
Mar 12, 2004, 07:29 PM
i think part of this problem is cultural. in canada a lot of us have grown up around hockey rinks and the game, so perhaps we're more conditioned to the toughness of the sport. below is a link to a public opinion poll from the CBC in canada, i think canadians (at least those that did this survey) seem to be less "enraged" by what happened.

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/indepth/bertuzzi/poll/results.html

i think it's interesting that most of the comments come from people not that familiar with the game, which is a shame since i'm sure if they just watched a few games they would get into it and enjoy it. this is an isolated incident, by a player who is normally a star in the NHL. this will all blow over, the american and world journalists will forget about the incident (not that most follow the game anyway) and CNN can go back to commenting on other "really important" issues like Janet Jackson and J-Lo.

Counterfit
Mar 12, 2004, 10:19 PM
I absolutely agree with you on the Pedro-Zimmer ordeal, but as I recall Zimmer's response was precipitated by a "questionable" pitch by Pedro, a known head hunter. It was also helped along by Clemens going a tad high/inside on Manny, who overreacted. And even before that when Garcia (a.k.a. ****face) tried to take out Todd Walker well after there was any chance of the double play being missed.

rfgecko33
Mar 13, 2004, 10:56 AM
i think the important aspect of this that no one has brought up is why there is fighting in hockey. if you stand back from it and drop the macho b.s. about hockey being a 'rough sport' you have to agree that the fights are at best stupid. how does two guys having a fist fight in the middle of the ice, stopping the game, have anything to do with the sport? it's ridiculous.

these are supposed to be grown adults after all. the point about violence in other sports is a sound one, however, when was the last time you saw the nfl put a game on hold so two guys could have a fight? and when there is a fight in the other sports, what other league punishes their players with a time-out?

my problem is not with violence in hockey. it is with stupid marketing b.s. violence in hockey. guys are going to get hit hard and put into the boards. part of the game. but the fist fights are just senseless. and they create an atmosphere where things like the bertuzzi attack are going to happen.

the league could have ended this long ago. quite simply actually. if you are in a fist fight you don't get a five minute penalty. you get a five game suspension and miss five game checks. look. no more fist fights. you have to look at why that hasn't happened though. it has everything to do with ratings and money.

hockey likes to think of itself as the fourth major sport. but i think nascar, college football, and mens college basketball might all have something to say about that. the league is well aware that a good portion of the audience that makes up the meager at best ratings they get now wants to see the pointless fights. they are so close to being irrelevant already that they can't afford to take the hit. so they have made the decision to whore their players out to make another buck. so who cares if one guy gets a concussion from being hit with a stick. hockeys a rough sport. so one guys neck got broken. violence is part of the game. well what are they going to say when someone gets killed?

hobbes3113
Mar 13, 2004, 11:36 AM
It was also helped along by Clemens going a tad high/inside on Manny, who overreacted. And even before that when Garcia (a.k.a. ****face) tried to take out Todd Walker well after there was any chance of the double play being missed.

I was just commenting on the Pedro - Zimmer ordeal. I don't place blame on Pedro at all, or Zimmer for that matter. But that game, in particular, illustrates my point perfectly. I don't recall that there was as much public outrage after that game as has been seen in the Bertuzzi incident.

(I should also say that I have no allegiance to either the Yankees or the Red Sox.)

blue&whiteman
Mar 13, 2004, 12:03 PM
all this shows you that people take games and or sports way too serious. it all comes from that stupid jock mentality. I live 30 min from toronto and I see this mindset everywhere.

hobbes3113
Mar 13, 2004, 12:05 PM
i think the important aspect of this that no one has brought up is why there is fighting in hockey.



the league could have ended this long ago. quite simply actually. if you are in a fist fight you don't get a five minute penalty. you get a five game suspension and miss five game checks. look. no more fist fights. you have to look at why that hasn't happened though. it has everything to do with ratings and money.



Actually the case of fighting in hockey has been brought up several times before, bun not in this forum. Many people believe that if you eliminate fighting in hockey, a lot of other problems will surface. The least of which would be star players (or all players for that matter) being targeted for cheap, quetionable hits. For instance, how many times was Gretzky targeted knowing that McSorley had his back? Fighting in hockey has been around, to the best of my knowledge, since the inception of the game and is often considered an integral part of the game. In addition, people also believe that a revival of the instigator would eliminate the type of things that went on Monday night (or at least make them few and far between). Sure fighting draws ratings and money, but this is due in part by the fans appreciation of what it brings to the game itself. Does anyone actually believe that Hockey's place in the hearts of American sports fans would be elevated if fighting is eliminated? Probably not. What people see on SportsCenter does not come close, in many cases, to showing the true beauty of hockey, fights included. To truely understand why fighting is an integral part of the game, one must do more than watch over sensationalized sports reports.

blue&whiteman
Mar 13, 2004, 12:06 PM
I forgot to add the jock translation to what I said incase some of you are here in the forums. here goes:

ugh ugh uh uh grunt ugh ugh

Counterfit
Mar 13, 2004, 02:11 PM
ihowever, when was the last time you saw the nfl put a game on hold so two guys could have a fight? When was the last time an NFL player even tried to get in a fist fight?

XnavxeMiyyep
Mar 13, 2004, 03:02 PM
I have no problems with organized fighting, but this is just ridiculous. If I ran up to someone from behind, hit him in the back of his head, fractured his neck, and smashed his face into the ground, I would go to jail. So should Todd Bertuzzi.

MacNut
Mar 13, 2004, 09:41 PM
when pedro martinez took down don zimmer during ALCS last fall, it got enough press and no one broke a neck...

Pedro should have gone to jail for that

Counterfit
Mar 14, 2004, 01:15 AM
I have no problems with organized fighting, but this is just ridiculous. If I ran up to someone from behind, hit him in the back of his head, fractured his neck, and smashed his face into the ground, I would go to jail. So should Todd Bertuzzi. I thought we had gone over this. First off, his neck could not possibly have been broken from the punch, it was most likely from the two extra players that jumped on top of him. And second, if you look at the video, there is no smashing of the head. Moore was unable (due to the suddenness and having a stick most likely) to break his fall, so the closest thing to the ice was his face. So his face smacked into the ice. Painful I'm sure, if he was still conscious after it.

MacNut: ************. Zim swung a fist (semi closed, but it was swung), and Pedro pushed him aside. That and the disparage in fine amounts, Zim payed $5,000, Pedro payed 10 times that, really cleared that up. I doubt that Pedro was expecting anything more that some face-to-face arguing, because Zim's been in the game for quite some time, and you'd think he;d know better than that.

hobbes3113
Mar 14, 2004, 08:49 AM
if he was still conscious after it.


He was unconscience for some time after the hit.

XnavxeMiyyep
Mar 14, 2004, 09:07 AM
I thought we had gone over this. First off, his neck could not possibly have been broken from the punch, it was most likely from the two extra players that jumped on top of him. And second, if you look at the video, there is no smashing of the head. Moore was unable (due to the suddenness and having a stick most likely) to break his fall, so the closest thing to the ice was his face. So his face smacked into the ice. Painful I'm sure, if he was still conscious after it.
Regardless of that, I'd still be arrested if I ran up behind someone and punched him in the back of the head with the intent of injuring him.

Counterfit
Mar 14, 2004, 11:33 AM
Regardless of that, I'd still be arrested if I ran up behind someone and punched him in the back of the head with the intent of injuring him. Right, but get your facts straight first.

Krizoitz
Mar 14, 2004, 04:21 PM
Actually the case of fighting in hockey has been brought up several times before, bun not in this forum. Many people believe that if you eliminate fighting in hockey, a lot of other problems will surface. The least of which would be star players (or all players for that matter) being targeted for cheap, quetionable hits. For instance, how many times was Gretzky targeted knowing that McSorley had his back? Fighting in hockey has been around, to the best of my knowledge, since the inception of the game and is often considered an integral part of the game. In addition, people also believe that a revival of the instigator would eliminate the type of things that went on Monday night (or at least make them few and far between). Sure fighting draws ratings and money, but this is due in part by the fans appreciation of what it brings to the game itself. Does anyone actually believe that Hockey's place in the hearts of American sports fans would be elevated if fighting is eliminated? Probably not. What people see on SportsCenter does not come close, in many cases, to showing the true beauty of hockey, fights included. To truely understand why fighting is an integral part of the game, one must do more than watch over sensationalized sports reports.

To claim that fighting should be encouraged like this and then not expect something bad to happen is naive at best. If I want to watch a fight I'd flip on a boxing match. Is the point of hockey about playing hockey or fighting? I can gaurentee you that there is no way in he** that I'll let my kids ever join a hockey league if fighting is an expected an acceptable part of it and expected! What a great lesson to teach your kids. You want to prevent cheap shots? Fine, put in stiffer penalties then. Fighting keeps hockey safer? I smell some BS.

floatingspirit
Mar 15, 2004, 06:06 AM
Perhaps like Todd Bertuzzi, I let my emotions get the best of me, so I'd like to clarify my statement a bit. In the top post I said: "you call that a sport!?"

By 'that' I meant hockey plus gratuitous violence, as carried out by Todd Bertuzzi. Clearly hockey is a great sport in which a whole lot of skill, courage, and physical prowess are required. However, hockey mixed with excessive violence ceases to be a sport, in my opinion, and I have no respect for such a mixture. I also object to the NHL's over-tolerance (again, in my opinion) of violence in the sport. As others have pointed out, we would be arrested for acting like that in public. Therefore, why should the NHL be above the law?

I think the NHL doesn't do enough to discourage violence. Insofaras the NHL tolerates or condones violence, I dare say it also markets it. Especially in times of international unrest, is violence really a commodity that we want to market?

I appreciate this (mostly) civil discussion and apologize if my comments haven't been clear enough.

Thank you from a guy who is not Japanese nor has anything to do with sumo wrestling, though I'd love to check it out some time.

hobbes3113
Mar 15, 2004, 08:28 AM
To claim that fighting should be encouraged like this and then not expect something bad to happen is naive at best. If I want to watch a fight I'd flip on a boxing match. Is the point of hockey about playing hockey or fighting? I can gaurentee you that there is no way in he** that I'll let my kids ever join a hockey league if fighting is an expected an acceptable part of it and expected! What a great lesson to teach your kids. You want to prevent cheap shots? Fine, put in stiffer penalties then. Fighting keeps hockey safer? I smell some BS.

I don't think that I ever suggested that fighting should be encouraged, but it should not be banned. I agree that stiffer penalties should be enforced when fights go beyond the "typical" scuffle, but evidently you do not watch or know enough about hockey to be able to discern what is best for the game (I won't even pretend to know what is best for the game). As for your kids, I believe that fighting is banned and not accepted at any time during an amature event, as it should be. Call it a double standard? Certainly, but double standards apply to almost every facet of our society. Personally I would rather watch the players play than have a game full of fights.