Bettman should suspend talks with Bertuzzi

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:13 PM ET

The NHL has reserved a decision on Todd Bertuzzi's request to have his suspension lifted and be reinstated.

Rightly so. What's the hurry?

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Bertuzzi, lawyers, agents and assorted others (including Bertuzzi's victim, Steve Moore) met for six hours the other day.

Never mind that if Bettman was meeting with anybody for six hours, it should have been with representatives of the NHLPA.

Fact is, Bertuzzi doesn't have anything to come back to at this point.

Fact is, Bertuzzi didn't miss any games this season and, as a result, hasn't served nearly enough of a suspension for what he did.

Fact is, Bertuzzi is about 738th in line when it comes to players returning to the NHL (unfortunately for Moore, because of the injuries inflicted by Bertuzzi, he might never be in line again).

Get a new CBA.

Then it might be time to start talking about Bertuzzi and his fate.

HEAR AND THERE: 67's coach Brian Kilrea is going to have a busy weekend. Friday night is Game 1 of the 67's-London Knights OHL final. He has to be back here Saturday for the OHL draft. Sunday, it's back to London for Game 2 ... Don't bet against Sidney Crosby the game after he's been held pointless. He was shut out Wednesday and came back with four goals Friday night as Rimouski eliminated Chicoutimi in the QMJHL semi-finals. Sid the Kid was held pointless only 10 times this season, but he made teams pay: In those 10 bounce-back games, he has 17 goals and 19 assists ... Saw Fever Pitch. In keeping with those movie tag lines ("A comedic home run!") this is "An o-fer with three strikeouts!"

REVELATIONS: One of the worst ideas the NHL has had lately is expanding the number of teams that make the playoffs. It took years of another bad idea (expansion) to get to the point where 16-of-30 teams make the playoffs and make the regular season somewhat close to relevant ... Talk in Montreal is former NHLer Guy Carbonneau and a Mario Lemieux-Luc Robitaille tandem are angling for QMJHL expansion franchises for the Montreal area for the 2006-07 season. It's becoming the NHL Alumni league with Bobby Smith (Halifax) and Patrick Roy (Quebec) already on board.

SPECULATIONS: If the Toronto Argonauts owners were a pop star, they'd be Britney Spears. One annulment after another ... It seems almost unbelievable that a team like the Binghamton Senators, stocked like no other AHL team with NHL talent during the lockout, could blow a 2-0 series lead and bow out of the playoffs in the first round. Then again, they are Senators.

JUST WONDERING: Why would Detroit Red Wings vet Chris Chelios want the lockout to end? He doesn't need the money and with time on his hands, he recently received an invite from Kid Rock to film a TV show with Cameron Diaz and Jessica Alba, who sizzled in Sin City (she was the peeler with the Western theme). Oh yeah, and when Chelios plays with the UHL's Motor City Mechanics, he doesn't have to go on road trips if he doesn't want to. I think all that's better than going in a corner with a 40-something body and Jody Shelley, but that's just me.

LET ME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT: Former NHLer Igor "The Professor" Larionov now has his own selection of wines, "Triple Overtime" and "Hat Trick." Next up: Peterborough Petes coach Dick Todd with "The Referees Suck" and "We're Young Up The Middle."... Nothing better than a quick round on the golf course. Ask Ian Poulter. He teed off alone for the final round of the MCI Heritage and played 18 holes in two hours, 21 minutes. He shot 74, apparently without stopping to comb his hair at the turn.

NAPKIN NOTES: Top-Flite, the golf ball company, is sponsoring a car in NASCAR this year. Most players don't like a drive that always turns left. As Lee Trevino once said, "You can talk to a fade, but a hook won't listen." ... Can't help but think Canada would be 0-1 at the world championship if Latvia had started Arturs Irbe in net. Then again, why would you want to start a guy with 15 years experience in the NHL against the powerhouse of world hockey? It's always better to go with the unproven guy.

PARTING SHOTS: The Toronto Raptors got two Williamses for Vince Carter. Might as well have been Venus and Serena. They've been better on courts ... Instead of playoff hockey, the CBC is showing movies on Saturday night. Coming up: A remake of the 1999 comedy 12 Stops on the Road to Nowhere. The laughs are non-stop as two bumbling negotiators put (what was) a $2-billion US business in peril for a second straight year. Billy Crystal plays Gary. Robert Duval plays Bob.

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