Marty McSorley and Todd Bertuzzi go mental
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Pretty much any hockey fan who isn’t just getting into the game has heard of these incidents. These are easily two of the most reprehensible things to ever happen in a hockey rink, and they had major consequences.
In 2000, McSorley was apparently upset about losing a fight to Donald Brashear earlier in a game between Boston and Vancouver. McSorley’s way of handling this was to smack Brashear in the head with his stick, blind side, and send Brashear slamming into the ice.
Brashear suffered a major concussion and had to be carted off the ice, while McSorley was actually found guilty of assault with a weapon in the court of law and never played in the NHL again (though he wasn’t given a lifetime ban).
Hockey fans probably found it hard to believe that moment could be topped as far as anger-fueled on-ice stupidity. Bertuzzi would pretty quickly prove those fans wrong, though.
In a 2004 blowout involving Colorado and Vancouver, Bertuzzi wanted to get at Steve Moore for a hit he had put on one of Bertuzzi’s teammates, Markus Naslund, in a previous game. “Get at,” in this case, meant Bertuzzi sucker punched Moore from behind and viciously drove him face-first into the ice.
Bertuzzi, who you may notice was very recently an active NHLer, was suspended for the rest of the 2003-04 season/postseason. Moore … never played in the NHL again. He suffered three fractured vertebrae and a concussion and (rightfully) sued Bertuzzi after some time. The parties settled out of court in 2014.
While we can laugh about things like Q grabbing himself and Sale chopping up jerseys (maybe not if you’re a White Sox fan, on the latter), there’s nothing funny at all about these two moments. They’re black spots on the NHL, to be sure.
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