NHL's Shame: Todd Bertuzzi Deserves a 10-Game Suspension but Won't Get It

Mike ShannonFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2011

DETROIT, MI - MARCH 9:  Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings takes a hit from Todd Bertuzzi #44 of the Detroit Red Wings in a game on March 9, 2011 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The Kings defeated the Wings 2-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

So Detroit Red Wings winger Todd Bertuzzi elbowed a guy in the face over the weekend. 

"Perfect," I thought, "this is a great way to see if the NHL is serious about head shots and ridding them from the game." 

Did the NHL step up and deliver a Matt Cooke-like suspension for the Red Wings?

Of course it didn't.

This is the NHL we're talking about here, the poorest-run league in the sports world outside of boxing. It announced there will be no disciplinary hearing and no further punishment will take place.

What a joke.

So, let me get this straight: Matt Cooke gets suspended for 14-17 games for elbowing a guy in the face because he's a repeat offender. Todd Bertuzzi, who almost killed Steve Moore, gets nothing for the exact same play.

Some people, like the moronic Pierre LeBrun, will declare that the elbow wasn't that bad because Bertuzzi "didn't mean" to do it. Garbage.

If you high stick someone, it doesn't matter your intent, it doesn't matter if it was an accident, you are responsible for your own stick, but Todd Bertuzzi isn't responsible for his own elbow?

Others have claimed that Bertuzzi has a clean record this season. Oh, goodie. He only broke a guy's neck a few years ago, ended his hockey career and nearly killed him...but he's been a real nice guy this year.

Bertuzzi is yet another benefit of the NHL front office's bias towards the Original Six teams. The Red Wings get a pass because they are the Red Wings. Todd Bertuzzi is a dirty, scummy hockey player who deserves at least a 10-game suspension and yet he gets nothing. If you can't see the bias here, then I don't know what to tell you.

How is any fan supposed to respect the NHL's disciplinary team when crap like this is permitted? Matt Cooke deserved 100 percent to be suspended for his elbow, no question. Todd Bertuzzi deserved just as much.

The bottom line: It doesn't matter what you meant to do, if the player was injured, or if you're a nice guy. Todd Bertuzzi viciously elbowed another player in the head and received no punishment outside of a five-minute major. 

The NHL should be ashamed of itself.