Thursday, December 06, 2007

Like a prime time mystery, the CBC alleges who may have ordered the Moore hit!

"He must pay the price."

That short sentence, uttered in a dressing room may be the smoking gun that unravels the much vaunted code of NHL players and coaches, that is if this CBC Vancouver news report aired across the country on Wednesday night has lined up all the pertinent points.

The CBC is in possession of court documents from the 2006 Steve Moore hearings in Ontario, when Todd Bertuzzi was asked more than 1300 questions regarding the on ice incident of March 2004. The one item that was attracting the most attention on Wednesday, was the revelation that Moore’s name and number were posted on the dressing room board, with the alleged comment being made that “He must pay the price.”

Crawford's alleged comment, was reported to have also been confirmed in sworn testimony by Canucks general manager Dave Nonis, who found that the Moore/Bertuzzi incident was the main bit of business he was dealing with after taking over from former GM Brian Burke.

Crawford, Currently a coach in Los Angeles is not a participant in the current legal proceedings that have been launched by the Moore team, who are seeking some 38 million dollars in compensation from Bertuzzi, for what has been categorized as the career ending attack on Moore. The legal proceedings are still under way, after the Moore camp turned down an offer set in motion through the NHL office, that Moore's lawyer Tim Danson, has reportedly called insulting.

There is more information expected to be released from those past hearings as the weeks go by, much of which it seems certain won’t be particularly positive for the league. There will no doubt be talk of the code, that mysterious unwritten group of rules and regulations that the players enforce amongst themselves, sometimes with very physical and violent repercussions.

As well Gary Bettman may wish to brush up on the term bounty, a favourite topic of the days leading up to the Moore incident in Vancouver that March. Those and many other unsavoury aspects of the game, that the NHL doesn’t particularly like to have examined by an interested public or media, let alone any form of legal system.

When all is said and done however, five short words on a dressing room board may very well be a talking point that provides the impetus for a settlement with Moore and changes the very dynamic of the game.
Words that will also leave the NHL with a public relations job that no one may envy.

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