Wednesday, September 12, 2007
After a long wait, the NHL finally announced today the length of Toronto forward Mark Bell's suspension for DUI back in 2006.
Bell will miss 15 games of the season without pay for his actions back on September 1st, 2006. The 27 year-old was has been sober for over a year now. "Playing in the National Hockey League is a privilege, and with that privilege comes a corresponding responsibility for exemplary conduct off the ice as well as on it," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
"However, over the past year, Mark has made extraordinary strides in his rehabilitation," added Bettman. "This positive progress was a material factor in reducing what could have been a lengthier suspension."
The NHLPA though is not in favor of the suspension.
"The NHLPA sees no basis for the excessive suspension Gary Bettman has imposed upon Mark Bell. Mark has fully accepted the serious consequences of his actions. He faces incarceration at the conclusion of the season and has already been suspended without pay as a result of his placement in Stage 2 of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program (SABH). There is no legitimate purpose served by adding a substantial league disciplinary suspension to the severe sanctions that have already been imposed."
Whether it was fair or not fair, this is all part of the road to staying sober for Mark Bell.