Eschewing responsibility

Eschewing responsibility. We have all done it, from time to time.

In some cases, the undesirable consequences of our actions leave us searching pointedly for an excuse, a source (beyond ourselves) of blame for an act(ion) we might otherwise wish had not been initiated. We would have others believe or, at least, consider the possibility that we were compelled by some external force to behave in a condemnable manner.

It seems that Todd Bertuzzi is taking precisely this tack in the case brought against him and Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment by Steve Moore, who Bertuzzi infamously injured with a sucker punch in a game against Colorado on March 8, 2004.

For instance, Bertuzzi suggests to the court that if he did not do ‘something’ to Moore, he would be ‘challenged’ by Canucks coach Marc Crawford:

“I think in general if I didn’t go out and do something, fight someone, it would have been a pretty long week for me,” Bertuzzi said, answering questions from defence lawyer Tim Danson.

Asked what that meant, he replied, “It means I would have heard about it from him. I would have been challenged the next day in a meeting.”

Excuse my skepticism but, as a Canucks fan all too familiar with Bertuzzi’s responsiveness to being challenged by Marc Crawford in particular, I implore you to consider some context here.

It is widely known now and was common knowledge during his time with the Canucks that Bertuzzi had little time, if any, for Crawford. In fact, one could say without much argument that the two despised one another.

More to the point, Bertuzzi was frequently criticized in his latter days with the Canucks (in particular, during the earlier part of the season in which the incident with Moore occurred) for expressly ignoring any kind of challenge(s) from the coach to be better, to work harder, to be more disciplined, to impose himself (physically, in particular) in hockey games.

Thus, I think it is worth questioning whether it is simply convenient for Bertuzzi to suggest that, in a moment of epiphany, he decided it was high time to heed the urging of his coach, lest he be ‘challenged’ for not doing so at the next day’s team meeting.

My sense is that Bertuzzi is doing precisely what many people do when they do not want to confront and accept the consequences of actions they are ashamed of. He is eschewing responsibility for them.

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3 Responses to “Eschewing responsibility”


  1. 1 H December 19, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    What I found strange with the questioning is that it seems that Steve Moore hired Lionel Hutz.

    That was some of the worst questioning I have ever seen.

  2. 2 Emmett Macfarlane December 19, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Note that he’s not even contending that Crawford sent him out to intentionally hurt Moore – only that if he didn’t so “something” or “fight someone” he would get shit from the coach. What kind of defence is that? I think Crawford is wise to not even bother responding to this…

  3. 3 g December 19, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Actually, his lawyer, Tim Danson, is probably at least decent… or at least he has done some fairly high profile plaintiff work anyway. There are better out there, but there are a lot worse.

    However, Bertuzzi’s lawyer is quite well known as one of the top defence lawyers in Toronto, so it is sure to be a tough battle if Moore is to get anything out of this. Then again, people settle cases early for a lot of other reasons (bad publicity, legal costs, risk, etc), so who knows.

    More to comment on this story at a later date now that RJ has finally decided to weigh in on it.


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