Monday, June 6, 2011

Bertuzzi-Style Hockey Still Lingers In Vancouver

Well, now. I thought the bush-league bullshit that Todd Bertuzzi perfected and Brian Burke endorsed left Vancouver with Bertuzzi and Burke.

Silly me.

Surely there has to be some sort of supplemental discipline on Aaron Rome after his vicious hit on Nathan Horton, when he talks to league officials at 11 this morning.

Sure... it was open ice.

Sure... Horton wasn't looking after making his pass.

Anyone could easily write this off as an unfortunate accident.

Just one little sticking point: Rome was clearly headed toward Horton, and he definitely leaned, sprang, and left his skates to make the shoulder-to-head hit.

I'm sorry... you can't tell me that wasn't intent. Even if you're not going for the head, that's a dirty hit. Even the most staunch Bertuzzi apologist would see that.

The only thing scarier than the hit was looking at Horton's face as he's on his back, face-up, looking like his arm was frozen in the air. That's freaky as hell to watch the aftermath of that hit.

That hit was pure bullshit. And there should be a suspension.

And I make no apologies for that assessment. I always call them the way I see them, regardless of loyalties. I felt the NHL made a mistake in not suspending Zdeno Chara for his careless hit on Max Pacioretty, and I've never been shy about it.

The good news is that, although Horton went to the hospital, the team tweeted he was responsive and was movement in his extremities.

Rome got a five-minute interference penalty and a game misconduct. We'll find out the rest this morning.

My bet is, he gets a game off. That's pretty standard for Playoff infractions, unless the league decides it may want to actually set an example, as this is happening on hockey's biggest stage and people are actually watching. ESPN's John Buccigross estimated Rome is done... and may even miss a few games into next season.

Honestly, I'd be impressed if Rome gets two or more. Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised one bit if he gets nothing....

It's not like the NHL has consistently enforced Rule 48 up to this point.

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