Should violent behavior on the ice result in prosecution in court?
It's a question that's been debated for years.
Legal wrangling is ongoing in the wake of the much-publicized 2004 on-ice attack by then-Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi against then-Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore.
Moore suffered three fractured vertebrae, facial cuts and still suffers from post-concussion syndrome. He never played another game after the incident and his hockey career is over.
Moore filed a multimillion dollar civil suit against Bertuzzi, who lost about $500,000 in salary when he was suspended by the NHL. He also pleaded guilty in a British Columbia court to "assault causing bodily harm," received a conditional discharge and was ordered to perform community service.
Bertuzzi's suspension was lifted by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before the 2005-06 season -- the 2004-05 campaign was lost to a lockout -- and he continues to play. He signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings in August.
I bring this up because Jonathan Roy, the son of Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy, will face assault charges in October for beating up Chicoutimi Sagueneens goalie Bobby Nadeau in a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game in March 2008.
What is it about March?
Anyway, Jonathan Roy was tending goal for the Quebec Remparts -- coached by his dad -- when he skated across the ice to pummel Nadeau. The Canadian Press reported Tuesday that Quebec court judge Valmont Beaulieu rejected Roy's lawyer's request to have the case tossed, even though Nadeau didn't suffer any long-term injuries and no other brawling players have been charged.
If convicted, Roy could face a maximum fine of $2,000 or six months in jail.
So, what do you think? I don't have a problem if an athlete is charged for behavior that takes place on the field or ice.
It's called being forced to take some responsibility for one's actions, no different for anyone else in society.