We all remember when the Crown Attorney in British Columbia began his investigation into the Todd Bertuzzi attack on Steve Moore and decided to charge
the Vancouver Canuck forward. One would have expected that there would be some kind of a trial but after a few months of "investigating", the powers to be in BC agreed to a plea bargin with Bertuzzi that would see him walk away from the assault charge having to do some token community service. Since Bertuzzi was a first time offender, most legal experts seem to find this deal quite normal. But the one big difference being that unlike Joe Sixpack who might find himself in a similar situation, Bertuzzi's pre-meditated assault was very well documented and has been played quite a few times on television. I can't imagine what took the Crown Attorney close to six months and probably tens of thousands of BC taxpayer dollars to simply do nothing.
This week NHL commish Gary Bettman and players association boss Bob Goodenow will have their first substantive meeting since talks broke off in September. The million dollar question is not what they'll have for lunch when they meet in Toronto, but what will result from this hastily put together meeting. Many hockey commentators are giddy with the hope that a deal is just around the corner as time is running out before the 2004-05 NHL season becomes a write-off. Other are much more skeptical, pointing out that the NHLPA proposal is going to be a "tweak" of the earlier offer - an offer that was summarily dismissed by the owners. So far the two sides have simply negotiated to give the impression that they aren't just sitting on their rear ends. I have to wonder if this is any different; is this a PR exercise or an attempt to get somewhere?