Robert Bortuzzo is Lucky to Have Only Received a 4-Game Suspension for his Bush League (and Semi-Successful) Attempt to Break Viktor Arvidsson's Back
Of all the sports’ topics discussed, ad nauseam, the one I enjoy engaging in the absolute least is subjectively splitting hairs, as passionately as Robert Bortuzzo tries to split spines, in regards to the length of suspensions. To be quite frank, I think trying to understand Player Safety’s pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey-like process in dishing out supplemental discipline, so you could have told me the Blues’ resident lumberjack got anywhere between one and thirty games for clearing a casual observer from the crease by way of blind-sided brawn and I’d have nothing other than a shoulder shrug to offer.
That being said, I did put about six seconds of thought into the aftermath of an act that was born of the type of frustration one might feel when they double down on their own idiocy by breaking an inanimate object in an overly emotional fit of destructive deflection and I came to the following conclusion. The easy and poetically just course of action would be to suspend a repeat offender of on-ice “road rage” for the same amount of games that his victim spends nursing an injury that was solely a result of his own jackassery…
That may seem excessive for a level of violence that can be seen, without a whistle being heard or an arm being raised, on a game-by-game basis. However, with said act of violence being entirely outside the spirit of a sport that is dangerous enough as is, I just don’t really care much about precedent in punishing someone who thinks a successful attempt to do nothing other than injure is the right retaliation for what he personally deemed to be an offensive overreaction by the innocent bystander he blasted from behind.
Admittedly, Victor Arvidsson did go down rather easily, but if that was a premeditated dive then it’s one that should have been taken into an Olympic pool, as the spatial awareness necessary to instinctually make sure his face cleared an unforgiving metal bar by mere inches is the type of stuff that 9.9’s are made of. Regardless, with the lower back falling in a not-so-distant third behind the brain and the balls, in terms of vulnerability, the additional shot that Robert Bortuzzo thought through and then delivered to the prone one that belonged to a guy who, at most, was guilty of embellishing the "retribution" for standing harmlessly in a somewhat arbitrary marked area of the offensive zone was unforgivable.
I don't know, I'd probably be relinquished from jury duty in this case, because it's my biased belief that it matters that no one that doesn't bleed blue & yellow and does appreciate the NHL catering to minds more creative than those of cavemen would miss Robert Bortuzzo. It's not fair to take his into account his lack of high-end skill when deciding on his suspension, but it's also not fair that a player who is more intriguing in just about every way possible will spend far longer on the shelf than the bag of trash that tried to permanently scar him with a tramp stamp of a tattooing by turning his body into an accordion.
Therefore, I would have been all in on the NHL saying fuck fairness and sending an unmistakable message to the loathsome brutes whose on-ice impact only slightly extends beyond that of a career thief watching over a dark alley in the dead of night. Maybe then we wouldn't have to wait 15 seconds for station identification every time an "enforcer" took a ludicrous amount of liberties in treating the crease like it was the nest of their young.