Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Sportbike World
NHL suspends Bertuzzi through Stanley Cup Playoffs, future status to be determined
Vancouver organization fined $250,000
TORONTO - Vancouver Canucks' forward Todd Bertuzzi has been suspended for the remainder of the 2003-04 season, including the final 12 regular-season games plus the entire 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In addition, Mr. Bertuzzi's eligibility for the 2004-05 NHL season will be determined by Commissioner Gary Bettman prior to the start of training camp. This suspension is the result of a blind-side punch that injured Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore in NHL Game #1028 on March 8.
Bertuzzi was assessed a match penalty under Rule 52, Deliberate Injury of Opponent, at 8:41 of the third period. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, based on his average annual salary, Bertuzzi will forfeit at least $501,926.39. This amount will be paid by the Club into the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
"Mr. Bertuzzi pursued Mr. Moore on the ice, attempting to engage him in a confrontation," said Colin Campbell, NHL Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations. "When Mr. Moore declined to engage Mr. Bertuzzi, Mr. Bertuzzi responded by delivering a gloved punch from behind to the side of Mr. Moore's head, rendering him unconscious. Upon falling to the ice, Mr. Moore suffered additional serious injuries. We want to make clear that this type of conduct will not be tolerated in the NHL.
"No final determination on the total duration of Mr. Bertuzzi's suspension has yet been made," Mr. Campbell said. "Mr. Bertuzzi will be required to meet with Commissioner Bettman prior to the start of training camp for the 2004-05 season, at which point Mr. Bertuzzi's eligibility will be reviewed in light of all the available facts at that time, including Mr. Moore's physical status and the progression of his recovery."
The Canucks' organization also has been fined $250,000.
"While we are satisfied that the Vancouver organization did nothing to affirmatively encourage Mr. Bertuzzi's actions, and that it in no way condones what transpired, it must nonetheless accept some responsibility for what took place," Mr. Campbell said. "In light of numerous player comments about Mr. Moore following the Vancouver-Colorado game of February 16, we believe the Vancouver organization ultimately bears some responsibility for monitoring and, to the extent necessary, attempting to moderate the focus of its team. While the League provided appropriate advance warnings to both organizations, and while some steps were apparently taken by the Vancouver organization to ensure a proper focus by the players on the game itself, we believe that more could have and should have been done."
The Vancouver fine money goes to the NHL Foundation which, in turn, makes contributions to a variety of charitable organizations.
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