[Re post below this]
I found some prior incidents that are precedent for the Bertuzzi case. I didn't think I would find any.
* Most recent is the Marty McSorely incident. In 2000, McSorley hit Vancouver Canuck Donald Brashear with his stick. McSorley was charged with assualt, convicted and received an 18 month probation sentence.
* 1968/NHL (exhibition game): Chico Maki of the St. Louis Blues hit Ted Green of the Boston Bruins with his stick, fracturing Green's skull. Green retaliated and both players were charged with assault. They were both acquitted of the charges.
* 1975/NHL: Dave Forbes of the Boston Bruins used "excessive force" on Henry Boucha of the Minnesota North Stars. Forbes borke Boucha's face and permanently damaged Boucha's eyesight. Forbes went to trial, which ended in a hung jury.
* 1977/NBA: Laker Kermit Washington punched Houston Rocket Rudy Tomjanovich in the face. He broek his nose, jaw and skull> Tomjanovich was in the hospital for five months and never played again. He had to have his face rebuitl. Kermit wasn't charged with a crime, but Tomhanovich filed a civil suit and settled out of court for $2 million.
Then there's also Mike Tyson, who tried to bite Evander Holyfield's ear off. He was never charged with a crime, though.
I'm sure there are hundreds of minor league hockey incidents where criminal charges were filed against a player - I found fifteen after two minutes of looking around.
So yes, there is precedent for charges being filed against Bertuzzi. He has an NHL hearing to face this afternoon. Hopefully, the NHL will do the right thing (though one can never count on Bettman to do the right thing) and suspend him for a good, long time. And then turn him over to the police.
I know there is some kind of law about undue risk, or exceeding inherent risk at a job. I guess it will be in the DA's hands at that point.
I say put Bertuzzi in the hands of Avs fans.