Crow's marching orders
The proposed amended statement of claim says that “during the second intermission, with the score 6-2 in favour of the Avalanche, an enraged Crawford inside the Canuck dressing room, pointed to Steve Moore's name and number on a board containing the Avalanche roster, and demanded that ‘he [Moore] must pay the price.' These words directing vigilante retaliation to be executed against Steve Moore went well beyond the earlier ‘calling-out' in the media by [then-Canucks GM Brian] Burke and Crawford. Bertuzzi knew exactly what was expected of him by his superiors and the consequences to him if he did not deliver.”
And just imagine if this was taking place in a case involving any of the 'big three' professional sports.
As it stands, there were only a few reports out of Phoenix where the Kings were playing last night, and Marc Crawford had little of consequence to say (for obvious reasons). Bertuzzi wouldn't say anything after a strong outing at home against the Sabres.
A lot of well-paid legal minds are going to be getting involved in this fight, and Steve Moore has recently proposed an amended claim that is to include an additional $20-million in damages. Crawford certainly isn't the first (or last) coach to utter an edict like this, but the whole thing does highlight the rather Neanderthal undercurrent to what went on. If Moore had never been seriously, irreparably hurt in this incident, would any of this seen the light of day? Had it, would anyone have batted an eye?
Making a player "pay the price" is all part of hockey's code, something many pundits are saying can only be enforced without the instigator penalty on the books. But the real question, to me, is that if we're relying on players to mete out justice and keep others in line, how then do we react when an eye for an eye goes too far and the price paid is far too high?
"An enraged Crawford" certainly didn't have this outcome in mind, and for that matter neither did Bertuzzi, but here we are, watching the continuation of a code-induced train wreck that makes all involved look despicable.
There are lessons to be learned here.