Introducing: Bertuzzdays, a weekly award of shame!


In the olden days, Tuesdays were just a beating. Say what you will about Monday, at least you can disgust your co-workers with embellished tales from the past weekend. Tuesdays are basically a bad sequel to or an ugly twin of Mondays. I mean, even Wednesday gets its own name: Hump Day!

Yes sir, Tuesday’s were a big drag … until now. Every Bertuzzday we’ll agree to loosen our iron fist grip on hockey and let the (sigh) people vote on the previous week’s most shameful hockey human. We couldn’t think of a better player to name such a feature after than the infamous Todd Bertuzzi (besides, it’s a much better pun that Marty McSorturday).

In case you’re new to hockey or were living in a cave back then, the image of Bertuzzi’s attack on Steve Moore became the Zapruder film of hockey. It left Steve Moore with three broken vertebrae in his neck and a concussion and the video became fodder for CNN and other 24-hour news networks. Hopefully we’ll never see anything like that happen again, but in the mean time, let’s do our best to lampoon hockey’s worst ne’er do wells.

Without further adieu, here’s this week’s nominees.

Matt Cooke – Look, we don’t want to “lead your votes” here but Cooke is the player responsible for Marc Savard’s concussion problems and has a substantial history of dirty hits. (Video of the hit).

Colin Campbell – We’ve also discussed Campbell quite a bit the last few days. He’s ultimately the man responsible for dolling out suspensions; the lack of consistency in these decisions gave way to “Wheel of Justice” jokes throughout the blogosphere.

Steve Mason – Certainly not anywhere near Cooke’s level of villainy, but Mason was pulled in the first period after allowing 4 goals on 13 shots against the Los Angeles Kings. Again, he’s not guilty of something morally shameful … but athletically? Maybe.

“Other” – Feel free to bring up a write-in candidate as well. Votes for “James O’Brien for shameful puns” will not be accepted, meanies.

After years of hype, McDavid to play first NHL game

Connor McDavid
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The hype surrounding Connor McDavid couldn’t be much greater, but finally expectations will start to give way to results.

The NHL career that’s been talked about for years will begin tonight when his Edmonton Oilers face St. Louis.

“It’s something that you dream of for so long,” McDavid told “The draft is one thing, but to finally be in this situation is another, so I’m really excited. It’s been a long road; it’s been a lot of hard work. I think a lot of guys’ stories are different in how they get here, but the one common theme is hard work and my story is not any different that way.”

McDavid has transformed the Oilers with his mere presence. Its breathed fresh optimism into a city that have watched this team struggle in its efforts to dig out of the NHL basement. One also has to wonder if Peter Chiarelli would be the team’s new general manager and Todd McLellan its new head coach if Edmonton hadn’t won the draft lottery.

But where will he lead Edmonton? Will he be just the sixth 70-point rookie of the salary cap era? Will he struggle out of the gate, putting the hype into question? Perhaps he’ll draw comparisons to Steven Stamkos, who had a modest rookie campaign by the standards of a highly regarded top pick, but has nevertheless gone on to become a superstar.

That would surprise Stamkos as the Lightning captain feels McDavid is better than he is currently. Just further proof that those lofty expectations are coming from all sides.

“You don’t want to put too much weight on his shoulders; he’s an 18-year-old kid,” Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “I don’t care how good he is or how good he’ll be, it’s a lot to shoulder if you’re supposed to be the guy and you’re the only guy. Fortunately we have a lot of high-pedigree players that are high picks who have gone through similar situations that he’s going through.”

Edmonton certainly has no shortage of first overall picks, but none as highly regarded as McDavid. But then, few ever are.

Related: There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

Connor McDavid
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Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in the preseason, finishing with six points in four games, including two shorthanded goals.

Tonight in Buffalo, his NHL career will start for real when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators in regular-season action.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL,” Eichel said, per “It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but you’re finally playing hockey for a living and everything you’ve done your whole life is to get to this point. It’s pretty special.”

The 18-year-old’s debut was front-page news this morning in Buffalo, where the Sabres have been among the NHL’s worst teams since last making the playoffs in 2010-11.

Eichel front page

Granted, even with the additions of Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Cody Franson, expectations for 2015-16 remain modest for the new-look Sabres. Certainly, a spot in the playoffs would count as a surprise.

But for the fans of a team that’s barely possessed the puck the past couple of years, it’s night and day.

“People are excited,” GM Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great. They think we’ve improved, and there’s a real positive vibe, I believe.

“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”