Bertuzzi Suspension 
It is a strange decision:

Vancouver Canucks' forward Todd Bertuzzi has been suspended for the remainder of the 2003-04 season, including the final 12 regular-season games plus the entire 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In addition, Mr. Bertuzzi's eligibility for the 2004-05 NHL season will be determined by Commissioner Gary Bettman prior to the start of training camp.


No final determination on the total duration of Mr. Bertuzzi's suspension has yet been made," Mr. Campbell said. "Mr. Bertuzzi will be required to meet with Commissioner Bettman prior to the start of training camp for the 2004-05 season, at which point Mr. Bertuzzi's eligibility will be reviewed in light of all the available facts at that time, including Mr. Moore's physical status and the progression of his recovery."

My biggest concern about the suspension is if the penalty wasn't set to be higher at this time because of the World Cup and his availability for Team Canada. If the decision not to include games next season was based at all on the World Cup, or the CBA for that matter, then I would be disappointed.

The regular season and the playoffs was expected and will be considered by more people to be too lenient than too harsh - should that matter - maybe.

The NHL's rationale for delaying the complete penalty seems strange.

If it was my call I would have set the penalty to 42 games - playoffs or regular season. This would make Bertuzzi uneligble for the World Cup.

The Canucks organization is also held responsible:

The Canucks' organization also has been fined $250,000.
"While we are satisfied that the Vancouver organization did nothing to affirmatively encourage Mr. Bertuzzi's actions, and that it in no way condones what transpired, it must nonetheless accept some responsibility for what took place," Mr. Campbell said. "In light of numerous player comments about Mr. Moore following the Vancouver-Colorado game of February 16, we believe the Vancouver organization ultimately bears some responsibility for monitoring and, to the extent necessary, attempting to moderate the focus of its team. While the League provided appropriate advance warnings to both organizations, and while some steps were apparently taken by the Vancouver organization to ensure a proper focus by the players on the game itself, we believe that more could have and should have been done."

So I guess we'll be seeing a $250,000 fine for Philadelphia today as well?

I watched Bertuzzi's press conference and found it very touching. The second and third times I watched it, however, I was questioning the phrases:
"I had no intention on hurting you"
"I don't play the game that way"

I don't know.

Update: Mackenzie said yesterday regarding Bertuzzi and the World Cup...

And what was a given before -- Bertuzzi's inclusion on Team Canada for the World Cup -- is now up in the air. Team Canada can name Bertuzzi as one of its players on may 15th and Bertuzzi will be able to apply for reinstatement prior to the World Cup training camp. If cleared by Bettman, he can play. If not, Team Canada will be permitted to add a replacement.

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