We all know what Todd Bertuzzi did many years ago to Steve Moore. Yes it was wrong, and it was one of the most horrific events to ever happen in the game of hockey. Todd Bertuzzi has paid dearly for what he did, and will live with that guilt for the rest of his life.
His one lapse in judgement should not be held against him, he should not be booed like he is almost 8 years later. There are times where he gets booed in arena’s by fans that have no ties to Either the Canucks, Avalanche, or Burtuzzi and I have to wonder to myself, do some of them even know why they are booing? Bertuzzi is not the monster he was or sometimes still is made out to be. So where did the Hulktuzzi alter-ego come from?
Come find out after the Jump…
Not unlike Bruce Banner, Bertuzzi has had to suppress his anger for fear that something bad may happen if he doesn’t keep it in check. To all the comic book nerds out there the Steve Moore hit was his Gamma exposure, a mistake that would forever change his life.
Since Bertuzzi’s return to hockey he has been a different player. He hasn’t used his size to intimidate, or be a physical presence, and as a result he just hasn’t been the dynamic player he once was. Now most of that can be chalked up to age, but some is because he just couldn’t let the big green monster emerge for fear that the reaction would be too severe.
That is until that one fateful night back on March 28th, 2011 while the Detroit Red Wings were facing off against their rival the Chicago Blackhawks. 5:17 into the first period, Todd Bertuzzi delivered a bone crushing hit to Chicago forward Ryan Johnson. The hit was clean, there was some contact with his elbow and Bertuzzi was ejected from the game. Johnson would return later that period after being cleared and Bertuzzi awaited his fate.
The hockey world was turned upside down with many calling for Bertuzzi’s head on a platter claiming he has a history, when in reality Bertuzzi hadn’t had an incident since “the incident”.
It was like a switch went off upon learning that he would not be suspended for his hit on Johnson. Bertuzzi had finally lost the fear of being disciplined for normal physical play. The monster had a green light and came out to play on April 2nd, in a 4-3 win over Nashville, earning an assist and two five minute majors for pummeling Predators defenseman Shane O’Brien.
And so the legend of Hulktuzzi was born, the only question now is. Where or when will he emerge this season?