This incident has just taken on a whole new life and now members of the media are calling for the National Hockey League to truly drop the hammer on St. Louis Blues enforcer Robert Bortuzzo.
On Saturday night during a match up between the St. Louis Blues and the Nashville Predators fans were witness to a rather vicious assault on the part of the aforementioned Bortuzzo. The assault appeared to be an unprovoked attack on Nashville Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson, one that was so vicious in its nature that it garnered widespread attention on social media. Even fans outside of both the Predators and the Blues fan base took note of this one and the clip of Bortuzzo's assault quickly circulated on social media, likely aiding in the National Hockey League's decision to get their Department of Player Safety involved in this matter.
For those of you who did not witness the original incident it was pretty tough to watch. Arvidsson crashed the Blues crease in the game's opening period with just a little less than 7 minutes played in the game and that was when Bortuzzo pounced. The Blues enforcer was understandably trying to clear the crease for Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and delivered a stiff crosscheck to the back of Arvidsson, one that sent the Predators' forward flying into the Blues net in awkward fashion. The referee saw it all go down and raised his arm for a two minute minor penalty and that is where things should have ended, but Bortuzzo was livid and decided to take it out on his downed opponent.
The second crosscheck is the one that has garnered all the attention as it came straight down on the small of Arvidsson's back, in an area where hockey equipment provides no protection of any kind. The Predators forward reacted like he had just been electrocuted, and unsurprisingly would not return to the game following the incident. Now we have learned, thanks to an official update from the Nashville Predators, that Arvidsson will miss anywhere from four to six weeks as a result of the injuries he suffered from Bortuzzo's crosscheck. Obviously this is a very significant injury and now there are calls from many members of the media for a big time suspension to be handed down.
Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times has called for a 10 to 12 game suspension.
Came Cole believes he should sit out just as many games as Arvidsson will be forced to miss due to injury.
The Athletic's James Mirtle has also called for a 10 game suspension to be handed down.
I picked these members of the media due to the fact that they have no association with either the Predators, the Blues, or either of the players involved. Needless to say there is a strong anti Bortuzzo sentiment growing on social media as a result of his actions last night and one has to wonder if the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety might not be impacted by the outrage. Arvidsson's injury update could also play a role here, although I will note that Bortuzzo was not offered an in person hearing which would normally indicate a relatively short term suspension.