Pension Plan Puppets: JFJ Strikes Again

Every Leafs fan has an opinion. Here's mine: We are all Pension Plan Puppets. The Teachers pull the strings and we dance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

JFJ Strikes Again

So this is why the GM needs an advisor. I joked about the Leafs being charged with crimes before but I didn't think Mark Bell would get convicted. Too bad he's a hockey player in California. They treated him like a normal citizen.

I'd like to think that the Leafs were aware of this considering some sens fans at the BoO (Damn you Notch!) were aware of this at the time of the trade. Needless to say, the denizens of Leafs Nation are up in arms and with good reason. The sentence might not start until after the season but as one friend put it "you think Bell will be able to concentrate on hockey with his new cellmate Tito weighing on his mind?"

Now, there are a couple of ways to look at it:
  1. JFJ knew about the pending case and decided that either the odds were good that Bell would not be sentenced to jail time or that he wouldn't convicted. In either case, getting Toskala was worth it in his eyes.

  2. JFJ was completely caught off guard and had no clue that Bell has both a drinking and a driving problem.

Either scenario is pretty grim and this quotation seems to indicate that the truth is closer to the latter scenario:

Leafs' GM John Ferguson had little to say when reached by Sportsnet."I will reserve comment until I can more fully review the situation," he said.

If the team knew then they should have been prepared to deal with any result.

Bell is far from the first NHL player to get in trouble with drinking and driving and some have been able to recover from their mistake to have productive careers (Heatley, McTavish). Sadly, Bell won't even be the first Leaf to have had problems. That article cites Rob Ramage, Jamie Macoun, Tim Horton, and Miroslav Frycer as other alumni that have distinguished themselves as morons.

Hopefully, Bell learns from his mistake as does JFJ although I'd like to imagine that he will be doing his learning in the unemployment office.

Mirtle's take here.

Update: In all of the smug self-satisfaction we should all keep in mind that Bell has yet to be sentenced. Mirtle noted that Bill Watters brought this up on Leafs Lunch. Maybe there is a deal in place that we are not aware of and the MSM jumped on the 6 months in the clink angle too quickly. He could just get community service and a fine.

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Anonymous John m said...

I listened to a bit of Watters on the way home interviewing a lady involved in the case, I want to say she's with the Crown office but can't verify, anyway it seems Bell has really stepped up and taken responsibility with both the law and the victim. I got the impression he'll serve a minimum of four months and likely only that, I'm not sure the October hearing could eliminate jail time but I could be wrong. The few callers I've heard seem to be going easy on Bell so far...if that's the trend then it looks like Mark Bell's lowest point in T.O. could be picking up today's paper off the front step (or his window), that's at least until he coughs up the puck on M.A.D.D. night at the ACC.

I'm liking your blog and am adding your link to mine.

Excellent work.

7:48 PM

Blogger PPP said...

Thanks John.

I'd guess she's with the District Attorney's office for the relevant county.

You're right in saying that Bell has definitely stepped up and taken responsibility and it's good to see that he's not trying to use his money to try to get out of trouble.

He has accepted that he made some terrible decisions and is looking to rectify it and that's really what people want to see.

I would guess that the October hearing's result could hinge quite a bit on the outcome of the civil lawsuit and any steps that Bell undertakes to deal with his drinking problem before then.

If I am the Leafs I get him in AA ASAP and make sure that he meets with the local MADD chapter to see what sort of volunteer stuff he can do.

8:20 AM


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