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Reading the Tea Leafs: Mark Bell

Following on the success of two other dormant series Chemmy and I have decided that in order to fill the gap in NHL news that we'll take a look at each of the current Leafs, possible Leafs on the Marlies, janitors, marketing interns and prospects. We'll recap their performance last year, what we can expect from them, and how they can win our hearts (hint: signing the contract was a good first step...unless your name is Bryan McCabe Ian White). We have no idea how long of a series this will end up being or how consistent it will be but with two of us expect it to only be half as half-assed and twice as timely.

Could it have been any other video? Years from now if Bell's short-tenure will have yielded nothing more than this hit he will still be remembered fondly as the man that gave us our long-awaited revenge.

Contract Status (according to NHL Numbers)
$2.5M salary, $2.167M cap hit, UFA July 1, 2009

Age (as of October 1, 2008)
28 - August 5, 1980

NHL Seasons
Six and a bit

Run of the mill stats

2007-2008 Stats and Team Ranking

(Scoring rates via Behind The Net)

Counting Stats Total/Rank Category 5-on-5 5-on-4 4-on-5
Games Played 35 - 19 TOI/60 9.08 - 22 0.61 - 14 0.01 - 26
Goals 4 - 17 Pts/60 1.89 - 5 0.00 - 17 0.00 - 7
Assists 6 - 17 GFON/60 2.83 - 8 5.62 - 12 0.00 - 9
Points 10 - 17 GAON/60 2.83 - 10 2.81 - 3 0.00 - 17

Former Leaf he'd have to play like in order to be christened a deity
Ummmm...half of Wendel Clark because even that is too much to expect from any mortal.

Biggest Question Marks
Will Bell even dress for the Leafs? He's in a dogfight to be included as he's another one of the guys that needs top six linemates to show his offensive skills.

2007-2008 Summary
That video is a summary of the good in 2007-2008.

The bad includes his 15 game suspension a year after being charged with drunk driving and a year after his last drink. Not to mention the voluntary meetings he attended. Justice is definitely swift. He receives an A for effort in being willing to scrap frequently but an I for injuries because that's mostly what came of his attempts to rouse the team.

Projected 2008-2009 role/team
Unknown. I can see Bell on the second line depending on the make up of the first, maybe the third with Stajan, or possibly as a member of the energy line. Hell, he could even be buried on the Marlies, lost to waivers, or traded. Basically, I have no idea where he might end up until the last game is played in the preseason.

Based on his history with Wilson he will have a higher standard to hurdle to get the ice-time that he wants. He has looked okay so far and he definitely has the tools that the Leafs would want in the lineup (good skater, willing to mix it up, and offensive potential) which makes me lean towards him being in the top twelve October ninth.