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Mark Bell

Posted 1:15 PM ET | Comments 18
This is another classic example of John Ferguson Jr.'s incompetence as a GM, trading a 1st & 2nd round pick in 2007, and a 4th round pick in 2009 for Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell. This trade was dumb from day 1, first off this was the year the leafs finally had a chance to land a decent forward could've snagged Cherepanov or Esposito or many others that were still around at the 13th pick, the leafs badly need some a good young talent upfront. Instead JFJ decided to deal for Vesa Toskala, twice JFJ has made glaring mistakes on draft day, last year trading away a top goaltending prospect in Tuka Rask, for Raycroft hoping he would return to his rookie season form, guess what that didn't happen JFJ's hope trade didnt work out and cost us for the future.

Fastforward to 2007 and JFJ is at it again trading 3 picks for Toskala and Bell, hoping Toskala can maintain his form playing half a season for the full year, and hoping Mark Bell can somehow resurrect his career in one of the most difficult hockey markets in the world, where every move you make is in the limelight. I question why did JFJ try and accquire another goaltender when Justin Pogge is 1-2 years away from playing in the NHL. Mark Bell has a drinking problem JFJ knew that when he acquired him, and I wonder what on earth was he thinking by acquiring a guy with serious off ice issues. This trade has now blown up right in JFJ's lap, so now their is a good chance that Bell JFJ's hope trade for 2007-2008 will not even play a single game all year. MLSE needs to wake up and realize that JFJ has screwed up this team for years to come.

Mark Bell deserves to be suspended and sent to jail immediatley, none of these your an athlete sentences they should throw the book at these guys. NHL players like Bell are supposed to be role models for young kids watching the games on TV with their dads, and they need to realize that kids watch their everymove, the message the judicial system and the NHL is sending these kids is that it is ok to drink and drive, you will just get a slap on the wrist and everything will be fine. The NHL and the courts should make an example out of these guys and throw the book at them.

Mark Bell is an idiot for drinking and the getting behind the wheel of a car, JFJ is even more of an idiot for acquiring Bell in a trade knowing that he has off ice issues, Doug Wilson was probabbly throwing a big party when JFJ took Bell of his hands. JFJ should be stripped of his title as GM of the Maple Leafs, because year after year he destroys the future for this hockey club, and the MLSE board needs to stop running a business and start running a hockey club, by focusing on running the club, the business side of it will take care of itself, its time to stop building condos and start building a hockey club.

Filed Under:   mapleleafs   nhl   mark bell   MLSE   GM   sharks   jfj   toskala   raycroft  
September 4, 2007 1:25 PM ET | Delete
Good blog stig. I hope Bell can get himself straightened out off the ice. Maybe the price for Toskala was to take Bell? I mean from the outside looking in, the Leafs got a better goalie and paid less than Florida, and if Bell gets himself together, it could be a steal. So much for playing Devil's advocate...LOL
September 4, 2007 2:41 PM ET | Delete
I JFJ just helped San Jose extend Marleau's and Michalek's contracts by taking Toskala and Bell off thier hands. Smart move by Doug Wilson.
September 4, 2007 2:51 PM ET | Delete
Nice blog stig....Toronot seems alot like Dallas when it comes to giving up the futre for right now. The Stars last yr traded a 1st for Nagy and he played 34 games and now he is in LA.
September 4, 2007 3:10 PM ET | Delete
Stop crying .. Bell made a mistake and is doing all he can to make it better... all athletes do this and they're only human like you and I ... A role model is someone who can beat all odds and admit there mistakes and encourage kids not to do what they've done ... Not someone paid a glorious amount of cash to read of a cue card ... Role models do things for free to help not for money .. Plus JFJ and the MLSE does suck but it wont change for a while ... Bell and Vesa were awesome trades .. (JFJ wanted VESA and Bell was teh only way for them to get him) The sharks didnt trade Bell cause he sucks, its because they are a company that doesnt help players in need so they got rid of him .. YOu cry to much man ... And how can anyone really be a TRUE role model in a league where Fighting, hitting, swearing, and so on are the most popular components of it
September 4, 2007 3:20 PM ET | Delete
your stupid remark on "The league is sending out a message that drinking and driving is acceptable" is absolutely retarded and you should be embarrassed for saying that... You might as well say they also send out the message that its alright to fight you opposing team if your loosing the game or hitting players from behind is a good thing .. or what about Football and it based on violent hits, or boxing for fighting, UFC for fighting and violence etccccccc ... get your head in the game .. you want to watch a sport with YOU IDEAL role model, turn to Fishing or Volleyball
September 4, 2007 3:21 PM ET | Delete
September 4, 2007 3:27 PM ET | Delete
I highly doubt that the Sharks would have traded Toskola without attaching Bell to the deal. Still a good trade. Besides, I really feel this is much ado about nothing. If Bell has been sober since the incident, then this was just a formality the NHL and the NHLPA had to do to get it on the record as a stage 2 case. Now, Bettman can still prolong this and use Bell as an example, but this defeats the purpose of the program, which is rehabilitation, not punishment. The sole reason the courts are allowing Bell to serve his time in the off season is to allow him to still make a living.
September 4, 2007 3:45 PM ET | Delete
Exactly, Amoroq is correct, the league is allowing Bell to make a living. Government bodies are moving their sentencing toward rehabilitation and away from just throwing the book at someone with substance abuse problems. Taking an alcoholic, stripping them of their livelihood and throwing them in jail does not help that individual. They would just go back to drinking when they get out. The idea is yes, to punish the crime but focus on giving the individual the tools to overcome and control their addictions. I would bet that Bell is in a leafs jersey on opening night. His suspension is indefinite, pending review. If he can prove that he is working on his problems and taking the proper steps to control his problems then they will lift the suspension. (read Dan T's blog for explanation.)
September 4, 2007 3:48 PM ET | Delete
Why should Bell be put in jail? Sure, he has problems, and hopefully he can get the help he needs. But jail...ridiculous. Remember Heatley KILLED someone while driving drunk and got off (basically) free. People who have these problems need to be helped not thrown away. Heatley is the one who should have been thrown in jail for 5-10 years.
September 4, 2007 4:01 PM ET | Delete
Ducey, relax, thestig88 hasn't been alive long enough to really understand addictions and has probably has never had the misfortune of watching someone with an addiction destroy their life. Your reaction to his blog was no better then his ignorant statement of "sent to jail immediatley". Your reaction was to punish rather then educate and help.
September 4, 2007 7:12 PM ET | Delete
orry stig, but I don't agree with you. First,the reason JFJ traded for Raycroft was because Pogge was a couple or three years away. Second, the suspension is just a formality, Bell will probably be playing by the season opener. And third, Haven't you ever done something stupid, I believe Bell deserves a second chance just like everyone else. However, with that said, this is an excellant blog as it has made fans reach down deep and thought of what they think. Keep up the good work stig, and keep them coming. I'm impressed.
September 4, 2007 7:15 PM ET | Delete
Bell is the ugly girl you get your friend to go out with so you can date the hot one. Essentially, he's a wingman. No wingman, you don't score the goalie JFJ was being slammed for not getting. redfred: Heatley was not drunk during that car accident. there was a slight presence of alcohol. As in, he had 1 drink that night which had no bearing on anything. Get your facts straight before you throw stuff like that out there.
September 4, 2007 7:21 PM ET | Delete
Bell was a throw in to make a trade happen. Kids do stupid stuff, and Bell, moreover, once he does his time and penance on it...needs to focus on being even a piece of his potential...and if he can do that, it might pay off eventually. Bell is better off in a place like TO where he can put things together on a deeper line. I know a lot of people who live out in TO who did the same exact thing as Bell, multiple times...and it doesn't condone it...but puts it in proper perspective.
September 4, 2007 10:56 PM ET | Delete
mob -- I think you are incorrect. Obviously I think I am correct..which is why I made that statement...in either case vehicular homicide is what happened due to both alcohol and high speed. He was driving, he was responsible. My point remains: Heatley deserved jail more than Bell does (at this point).
September 5, 2007 1:35 AM ET | Delete
Tough Crowd...lighten up. I can say that cause the Kings goalie situation sucks. Nice Blog anyways!!!
September 5, 2007 10:00 AM ET | Delete
Hey Guys, The stig88 is only 18 years old himself and not had the time to have a fraction of a clue what life holds. I do agree that his blog is too immature for a blogger but he will be a little less judgemental after he gains a few years in age, adds a decade or two with a wife and raises a kid or two........
September 5, 2007 11:50 AM ET | Delete
I like the ugly girl comment by mob_slapman, that pretty much sums up what happened. I am sure the Bell is a good guy and will straighten out. The only question that remains will Toskala be worth the trouble or will he flame out like Raycroft did with the lack of team defense that the Leafs have.
September 5, 2007 2:14 PM ET | Delete
ok, then i guess Bertuzzi, Bouwmeester, Heatley should all be suspended. what terrible role models they are. The Leafs needed a goalie, and we had to take Bell to get one. No big deal.
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