As reported by TSN and by Eklund, Leafs winger Mark Bell was placed on waivers this morning and my question to you all is:
Could the "Bell" be ringing in Nashville?
Knowing Predators Executive VP and GM, David Poile, probably not.
But in reality, Bell seems like a great fit for the Preds top 6 forward lines. Bell is 6 foot 4 and weighs in at 220 lbs. He plays a hard gritty tyle, somewhat similar to former Predator Scott Hartnell. He would be perfect for the team's second line of Mark Bell-David Legwand-Martin Erat. He brings some size to a line that is relatively much smaller and a lot quicker.
Bell makes $2 million and considering the team is keeping injured forward Steve Sullivan and his $3.2 million contract, which expires at season's end, on the roster, the team sure has the space for him. But some would ask, at the expense of who?
Forwards Joel Ward and Josh Gratton have impressed some. Ward has 2 goals already in the preseason. Swedish winger Patric Hornqvist, who tied Peter Forsberg's rookie scoring record in the Swedish Elite League appears to be a shoe-in to the roster. Newly acquired Nick Tarnasky could very well crack the roster as well. Known to be a gritty checking forward, something the Preds have lots of, Tarnasky would bring some added size (he is the heaviest forward and is 10 lbs. heavier than the next heaviest forward (Gratton)). Ryan Jones and Antti Pilhstrom will also battle for a roster spot. Pihlstrom showed his true potential at this year's World Hockey Championships for Finland exploding in goals and points totals. Jones' size and ability to stand in front of the net will also be an asset to the Preds.
Also, forward Jed Ortmeyer still remains on the roster and is still out with an injury he suffered last season.
For me personally, I'd like to see these lines:
Bonk - waived or traded or dumped in an alley-way (jk)
It'll probably be something like:
IR - Sullivan, Ortmeyer (assuming they aren't technically on the roster but their salaries count toward the cap(?))
All in all, I think Mark Bell would be a great fit in Nashville and would help compensate for the loss in scoring from Alexander Radulov. They better jump on this guy before he goes somewhere else or lands in the Leafs AHL affiliate.
Next up: First regular season game is Friday - Preds in STL to take on the Blues. Should be a dandy...I hope.