|10-03-2007, 09:15 PM||#1|
lets go partner
Join Date: Oct 2004
Kennedy believes Bertuzzi is suffering in silence
Former Detroit Red Wings forward Sheldon Kennedy looks at Todd Bertuzzi and sees himself in Bertuzziís eyes and facial expressions. Kennedy thought when he went public in 1996 with details of how he was sexually abused by Graham James, his junior hockey coach, it would set him free, but it took years of dealing with the issue and confronting how it had impacted his life before Kennedy could move beyond the pain. Thoughís he not spoken to Bertuzzi, the ex-Wing who comes to Joe Louis Arena Wednesday with the Anaheim Ducks, Kennedy believes that Bertuzzi is still battling his inner demons over the hit he put on Windsorís Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche in a 2004 game, a sucker punch from behind that to date has shelved Mooreís NHL career. "You can see it," Kennedy said. "Heís suffering. He still hasnít dealt with it, moved past it. You can see heís a different player." . . . Kennedy, whose organization Respect In Sport is designed to help deal with issues of all kinds in the sporting world and make it a better place for everyone to play, is concerned that parents are putting too much pressure on the kids to perform. "What weíve heard a lot is about parents making this huge investment into their kids to get a scholarship," Kennedy said. "Look at the pressure thatís put on these kids. They canít be an investment. Kids have a bad experience in sport and they get turned off sports and never come back. We wonít get them back. Thereís too many easier things to do in life." . . . Kennedy believes the key is to accept the reality, that little Billy or Sue arenít going to be the next Sidney Crosby or Hayley Wickenheiser. "Less than one per cent of our kids will end up earning a living in sports, so why do we spend so much time worrying about the unlikely?" he said. "Letís have a little fun with it. The cream will always rise to the top." . . . Kennedy looks back at the 2005 hazing incident involving players of the Windsor Spitfires, which came under a previous management and ownership, and points the finger of blame at the people who were in charge at the time. "I like to go up the ladder," he said. "Itís the coach and the GM. If theyíre in charge of the team, then this stuff doesnít happen. Youíve got to take tough lines. If it does happen, then youíre gone. And youíve got to stick to your guns. You canít blame the kids. Sure, they did the act, but youíve got to look at leadership. Itís fine and dandy to have policies and procedures and tell your players, ĎPlease be good boys,í but itís another thing to actually follow through on those policies. The action and the leadership needs to be there." . . . Amazingly, for all he went through playing for James with the WHLís Swift Current Broncos, hazing was never a concern. "I was never hazed," Kennedy said. "Graham took a tough line on hazing. Nobody hazed anybody." . . . The Anaheim Ducks are working to avoid the effects of jet lag since their return from London, England, where they opened the NHL season with two games against the Los Angeles Kings. "We tried to formulate a plan," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "Donít take afternoon naps when you first get back. Try to get back into your regular routine as soon as possible. Eat your meals at proper times. Stay in the sunlight as much as you can during the day. All those things. Itís a tough grind for some people and other people, it doesnít seem to bother." The players admit their bodies are still somewhat confused. "Your bodyís on a later clock," Anaheim defenceman Joe DiPenta said. "When 9-10 oíclock comes around, youíre ready for bed." . . . Think getting off to a good start in the National Hockey League regular season doesnít matter? The past three Stanley Cup champions have a combined October record of 23-2-5. Tampa Bay went 6-0-1 in October 2003, Carolina went 8-2-1 in October 2005 and Anaheim went an astounding 9-0-3 in October 2006. The past 10 Stanley Cup champions have a combined October record of 78-17-14. The past two Presidents' Trophy winners have a combined October record of 21-1-1. The Detroit Red Wings went 11-1-0 at the start of the 2005-06 season and the Buffalo Sabres went 10-0-1 last October. "The points earned in October count and they count big-time in March," Carlyle said . . . Over the past 10 seasons, the Wings have the most victories in the Western Conference (477) to go with seven division titles, two Presidents' Trophies and three Stanley Cups. Also in that span, they have led the West in points in four of the past five seasons, haven't been worse than second in the conference in the past six seasons and have never been worse than third . . . Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin enters the season needing one goal to tie Darryl Sittlerís (389) club career goal-scoring mark and nine points shy of Sittlerís (916) all-time Leafs points mark . . . Detroit defenceman Chris Chelios is two games away from tying former Wings captain Alex Delvecchio (1,549) for eighth on the NHLís all-time games played list . . . The Wings are a .513 team in season openers (34-32-14). The Leafs are a .455 club in the first game of the season (33-41-5). The Wings own the NHL record for the longest winless streak in season openers (0-8-4 from 1982-93). On the flip side, Detroitís 14-0-1 season-opening stretch from 1940-54 is second in league history to the 13-0-4 posted by the Montreal Canadiens from 1963-79.