‘Leo the Lip' had Bertuzzi finishing first
There was a time in Hollywood when the bad guys could not get away with their crimes.
It was against the rules.
That's why George Fortescu Maximillian “Maxim” de Winter, played by Laurence Olivier, didn't kill his first wife Rebecca in the 1940 Hitchcock film by the same name, but rather she tripped and fell, hitting her head and suffering a fatal wound.
That's not how Daphne Du Maurier wrote it in her novel.
Watching Todd Bertuzzi skate freely on his home ice Saturday wasn't the way it was supposed to be written either, except this time the bad guy really did get away with the crime.
Bertuzzi, the talented Vancouver Canucks forward, took the ice at the General Motor Place while his victim, Steve Moore, can only hope the headaches go away, his vision clears and he too can get back to being a professional hockey player.
Moore played his last game on March 8, 2004.
That's when Bertuzzi skated up from behind him, threw a vicious punch into Moore's face and the unconscious Colorado Avalanche player fell and hit his head on the ice.
At some point, two bones in Moore's neck were broken. He also suffered a concussion, symptoms from which remain and keep him from playing.
Bertuzzi was suspended by the NHL for the rest of that season and the next, 17 months, which because of the strike, amounted to only 20 games. He also was found criminally responsible by a Canadian court and placed on probation, a condition of which is he cannot play in any game involving Moore.
That should have been Saturday.
Because of the attack, Moore still can't play, so Bertuzzi was free to take the ice. He even assisted on one of the Canucks' six goals in a 6-4 victory.
The whole thing is just wrong.
Moreover, Colin Campbell, the NHL's executive vice president and the man who dolls out the fines and suspensions, was at the game to make sure none of the Colorado players exacted any revenge, which by the way, is what Bertuzzi was doing when he hit Moore.
That circle, it seems, won't ever be broken.
At the very least, Vancouver should have held Bertuzzi out of the game in respect for Moore if not to live up the spirit of the court's decision.
Better still, the NHL should have given Bertuzzi the full measure of the penalty and carried the suspension over to the current season.
Of course, the league could not do that because the owners initiated the strike via a lockout. To take a second year from Bertuzzi who have violated his right to work and make a living.
And that's the irony.
Bertuzzi did the same thing to Moore.