Todd Bertuzzi and Dany Heatley were both involved in tragic events during the course of the same Hockey Season. They were very different events, one was on the ice and one was off the ice. However, both had the potential to stay with the player for a very long time. Years later, why is the view of the two players by fans and media so opposite? This author believes there are two main reasons for this. First, the view of whether the incident was an accident. Second, the response of the victims of the tragedy.
Sept. 29th, 2003 Dan Snyder was killed in a car accident while Dany Heatley was behind the wheel. An absolutely tragic event that I am sure Heatley would give anything to reverse. Snyder's parents saw to it that charges were minimal against Heatley and publicly forgave him.
March 8th, 2004 Todd Bertuzzi punched Steve Moore on the side of the helmet to initiate a Hockey fight, and unknowingly knocked Moore out. He pushed the unconscious Moore forward, who was unable to protect himself from the fall. Still ready for the fight, Bertuzzi rode Moore into the ice, followed by several of Steve’s teammates who piled on the both of them.
Unlike Dany Heatley, no one forgave Bertuzzi. With the help of slow motion and the knowledge of the severity of Moore’s injuries, Bertuzzi was made out to be a monster. Moore would not forgive Bertuzzi, and would not allow Bertuzzi to apologize to him. It seems that Moore has done everything in his power to keep the issue alive and deny Bertuzzi closure. The affect on Moore’s career and his life are undeniable, but his conduct is less than admirable.
Bertuzzi does have a mean and rough look. He hasn’t helped himself by the way he responds to the press. It is so easy to judge this picture.
Yet, is this an accurate reflection of Tod Bertuzzi’s true character? Anyone who saw him play on a regular basis would say not. Bertuzzi was a Power Forward but not the team tough guy who was regularly asked to drop the gloves. March 8th, 2008, was out of character for Bertuzzi and he let the team and his own emotions get the best of him.
The 6’3”, 245 pound athlete obviously didn’t know is own strength. And no one in the arena knew that Moore was knocked out until it was all over and the stretcher was on the ice. Slow motion replays were required from the opposite side of Bertuzzi’s vantage point to figure out exactly what happened.
Dan Snyder rest in peace, I am sure that no one thinks of you more than Dany Heatley. Moore suffered the force of a fatal car accident and survived. As for Bertuzzi, maybe he can build something with the pile of stones.