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Trial date set in assault case against Vincent Damphousse's estranged wife

Allana Henderson, the estranged wife of former NHL player Vincent Damphousse, leaves the court in Montreal, Wednesday, April 20, 2011. The estranged wife of former NHL star Vincent Damphousse will stand trial next year for allegedly assaulting and stealing from the retired hockey player.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

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Allana Henderson, the estranged wife of former NHL player Vincent Damphousse, leaves the court in Montreal, Wednesday, April 20, 2011. The estranged wife of former NHL star Vincent Damphousse will stand trial next year for allegedly assaulting and stealing from the retired hockey player.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL - Vincent Damphousse's estranged wife is slated to stand trial next year for allegedly assaulting the retired NHL star and stealing from him.

Lawyers agreed Tuesday that Allana Henderson's one-day trial should be held next June 8.

The date-setting came as both sides continued discussions aimed at having the criminal charges dropped.

Henderson was not in court Tuesday. She is facing two charges—one count of theft of a briefcase and one of assault with a weapon against Damphousse last March 29.

Damphousse faces six counts of assault against Henderson, which allegedly occurred between 2008 and early 2011. His case returns to court Wednesday.

Both Damphousse and Henderson have pleaded not guilty to all charges and have kept quiet about the case to protect their children.

Damphousse's lawyer has previously suggested the charges against his client stem from divorce proceedings.

The Crown and Henderson's lawyer said Tuesday that discussions aimed at ending the legal process are ongoing.

Crown prosecutor Carolyne Paquin said it is normal to set the date for a trial even as both sides continue to talk. If negotiations between the parties fail, both cases will likely go to trial.

"That's the usual process,''Paquin said. ''We don't want to postpone again and again so a date has been set today (Tuesday).''

Henderson's lawyer, Suzanne Costom, said negotiating is such situations is normal.

"In every criminal case there's always a look at what's best for all parties and what's best in the public interest," Costom said.

"In that optic, we're always trying to find a way where everyone can walk away with their heads held high."

Damphousse was drafted sixth overall by Toronto in 1986 and played with Edmonton, Montreal and San Jose during an 18-year NHL career that ended following the 2003-2004 season.

He won a Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Habs and served as the team's captain from 1996 to 1999.

In 1,378 NHL games, he scored 432 goals and amassed 1,205 points.

In 2007, Damphousse began to devote more time to his business venture, Le Scandinave Spa, which he co-founded. He is also co-owner.

Before their split, the couple was well known in Quebec for their charity work.

Costom said Henderson is trying to deal with the case as best she can.

"It's a very, very sad situation, it's sad for the kids and it's sad for my client of course," Costom said.

"She's a person with a lot of integrity, she's really in touch with her values and she doesn't think that anyone, regardless of social economic status, should be the victim of any kind of abuse in a marriage or any other aspect of their life."

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