17 months after blindsiding Steve Moore, probably ending Moore’s career, Todd Bertuzzi has been reinstated by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Bertuzzi missed the final 13 games of the last NHL season, the World Cup of Hockey in September, and an entire season of (potential) European play.
He also missed this season of NHL play, but then again, so did everyone else.
“While I believe that reinstatement of Mr. Bertuzzi at this point in time is appropriate and consistent with a ‘fresh start’ for the 2005-06 season, I want to make it clear that any future acts by Mr. Bertuzzi involving a review for possible supplemental discipline will require an in-person hearing,” Bettman said in a 10 page summary statement released today.
Bertuzzi has already been invited by Wayne Gretzky to Olympic Orientation camp for the Canadian Olympic team, which will be held later this month. Gretzky serves as executive director of Team Canada as well as the new coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. Gretzky told Canadian sports channel TSN that “[h]e’s an elite player and I expect him to have a great year and be part of Team Canada come February in Italy.”
The suspension cost Bertuzzi $501,926.39. Of course, he’ll make $5.2 million this year with the Canuks. He also is not allowed to play in any game in which Steve Moore is an opponent. Considering the extent of Moore’s injuries (broken neck and severe concussion), that may not ever be an issue: Moore’s career is probably over. The Avalanche did not resign Moore, and he is currently an unrestricted free agent.